The advent of information technology has led to the emergence of intelligent voice technology as a highly convenient and efficient method for individuals to access information and engage in communication. Currently, the global market for intelligent voice semantics is characterized by a relatively high level of concentration, with multiple manufacturers establishing a comprehensive industrial system.
On June 27, 2023, Unisound AI Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Unisound", Chinese: 云知声) formally submitted a prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for listing on the Main Board, with CICC (Chinese: 中金公司) and Haitong International (Chinese: 海通国际) as joint sponsors. The net proceeds from the IPO will be used primarily to enhance R&D capabilities; invest in emerging business opportunities and increase product adoption and penetration in industry verticals and scenarios; international expansion and strategic partnerships; and for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Founded in 2012, Unisound is one of the pioneers in industrializing AGI technology in China. With strategic foresight, Unisound started to build the Atlas AI infrastructure in 2016 and accordingly developed the proprietary big model Shanhai Big Model with 60 billion parameters, which was officially released in 2023 and became the new core of the company's technology platform -- Unisound Brain (UniBrain). Empowered by UniBrain, the company has launched highly competitive products and solutions covering a wide range of AI application scenarios in smart life and smart healthcare. From 2020 to 2022, UniBrain's revenue was CNY 261 million, CNY 456 million and CNY 601 million, representing a CAGR of 51.7%, and gross profit was CNY 89 million, CNY 145 million and CNY 240 million, representing a CAGR of 63.9%.
In terms of commercialization, Unisound has strategically focused on the smart living and smart healthcare industries. In 2016, the company ventured into the smart home sector by establishing a partnership with Gree. In the same year, Unisound formed a partnership with Peking Union Medical College Hospital (PUMCH) to introduce a voice-activated electronic medical record solution specifically designed for the hospital. As of December 31, 2022, Unisound's solutions have been implemented across various sectors including healthcare, residential, commercial, hospitality, transportation, and other industries. In 2022, Unisound's solutions catered to a total of 538 customers.
According to Frost & Sullivan, Unisound is the fourth largest AI solution provider in China by revenue in 2022, and the fastest growing among companies with annual revenue of more than CNY 500 million. In terms of industry scale, the 2023-2028 China Intelligent Voice Industry Market Development Status and Investment Direction Research Report shows that the intelligent voice market in China has demonstrated sustained growth, with a notable increase of 13.4% year-on-year in 2022, resulting in a market value of CNY 34.1 billion. The growth rate experienced from 2017 to 2022 was 221.7%, indicating a compound growth rate of 26.33%.
In terms of globalization, Unisound is one of the first companies in Asia to apply deep neural network algorithms to speech recognition products and release a commercial cloud-based speech recognition engine based on deep learning. By the end of 2022, the global eco-partners of Unisound have exceeded 20,000 and covered more than 200 million users. Its "Fengniao" (Chinese: 蜂鸟) series of chips for IoT have shipped 2000w worldwide; "Xuebao" (Chinese: 雪豹), a dedicated chip for automotive-grade voice AI, has also been shipped at home and abroad, with an expected lifecycle shipment of over 2 million units. In February 2023, CB Insights, the world's leading venture capital research firm, released its latest list of global unicorns, and Unisound has been on the list five times with its outstanding achievements in the field of artificial intelligence.
The major competitors of Unisound include Chinese companies such as iFLYTEK (Chinese: 科大讯飞) and Baidu (Chinese: 百度), as well as international players such as Apple and Nuance from the United States.