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Chinese AI Healthcare Startup 12 Sigma is Seeking New Financing
COVID-19 and China

BEIJING, Nov. 26, 2018 (EqualOcean) - 12 Sigma Technologies (12 Sigma, 图玛深维), a Chinese startup using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning to analyze medical imaging, is in talks with several investors to seek new round financing, someone familiar with the company told EqualOcean. Medical imaging AI market is growing very fast in China and around the world, but 12 Sigma has been lagged behind by its competitors such as Infervision (推想科技), Yitu Healthcare (依图科技), at least in terms of fundraising.

According to public information, 12 Sigma has secured four rounds of investment; the latest round came in December 2017, with CNY 200 million backed by investor including Softbank China Capital (SBCVC), ZhenFund, Matrix partners China and so on, added to its total financing of about USD 30 million. Infervision and Yitu Healthcare, two major players in the medical imaging field, backed by USD 75 million and USD 55 million investments respectively.

ZHONG Xin (钟昕), co-founder and CEO of 12 Sigma, once said investors pay more attention to technologies’actual application and monetization when mining B round potential portfolios. 12 Sigma, told EqualOcean half month ago nearly 200 hospitals worldwide using its products as of October 2018. Its solutions at the moment consist of three areas: Deep Learning Diagnosis, Medical Data Analysis, and Cloud Cad, and the company plans to add 3-5 specific products every year. 

Just like Infervision, 12 Sigma has been actively expanding into international markets, partly because it was difficult to generate revenue by authorizing products to Chinese hospitals, who want to have a try but with little willingness to pay. By contrast, hospitals in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. have the habit to pay professional services.

12 Sigma probably wants the new round investment to be strategic, internet giants such as Alibaba and Tencent, and state-owned funds such as China's State-owned Capital Venture and CITIC Securities are good choices. But Alibaba has already poured money into startup Wanlicloud two and half years ago, and Tencent has a similar subsidiary called Miying (觅影) and invested VoxelCloud (体素科技). 

No matter who will be the next investors of 12 Sigma, one thing is for sure, the competition of Chinese medical imaging AI market will turn white-hot next year. 

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