Jan 10/EqualOcean/ - SenseTime Group Ltd (商汤科技), is the world's most valuable artificial intelligence unicorn, focused on computer vision and deep learning is preparing for a fresh round of financing. According to Bloomberg, people familiar with the matter revealed that the Chinese company's goal is to raise about USD 2 billion this year. Now, it is in contact with its consultants on financing matters. Investors behind SenseTime include Chinese giants like Alibaba Group (阿里巴巴). SenseTime responded to the message with "No comment".
The Beijing-based company completed 9 rounds of financing after its establishment in 2014, including a round of financing of USD 620 million announced last May that has valued the company more than USD 4.5 billion. This was led by Fidelity International, Silver Lake, Tiger Global Mauritius Fund, and Hopu Fund. The latest round of financing USD 1 billion was received in November 2018, led by SBCVC (SB China Capital), a venture capital and private equity firm that manages both USD and RMB funds, focuses on high-tech, high growth companies in TMT, clean technology, healthcare, consumer/retail, and advanced manufacturing sectors.
People familiar with the matter said that negotiations for the newest round of financing is still in the early stages and the details of the deal may change. A spokesperson for SenseTime declined to comment.
It's worthwhile to be noted that investors have invested and still are investing billions of dollars in Chinese artificial intelligence start-ups, from SenseTime to Face++. As the Chinese government is working intensively to become the epitome in artificial intelligence by 2030, and these start-ups are hoping to take advantage of the supporting atmosphere created by the government to flourish. The artificial intelligence hype in China has led all companies ranging from video service provider to language schools to claim that artificial intelligence is being integrated into their business in order to win investment.
SenseTime focuses on creating systems that can analyze faces and images in batches. SenseTime said it has more than 700 customers from a range of fields, including fintech, automotive, smartphones, and smart city; such as Honda, Nvidia, China's UnionPay (中国银联), Sina Weibo (新浪微博) and so on.