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article imageWorld's largest AI startup gets $1.2 billion in a few months

By Tim Sandle     Jun 6, 2018 in Business
SenseTime Group, an artificial intelligence startup, has raised over one billion USD, and is now valued at more than $4.5 billion. The company is a Chinese based image recognition startup.
Investment has come from Fidelity International and Silver Lake Partners, plus an investment group led by Alibaba and from Singapore’s state investment firm. In a matter of months, total investments are $1.2 billion, Fortune reports.
The new investment will contribute towards research and talent acquisition. The company has big expansion plans and it is seeking to improve its platforms, which analyze faces and images, with the aim of providing these on a much larger scale to policing bodies across China.
SenseTime is already in wide use in China, with the SenseTime software apparently built into over 100 million mobile devices. The company also has a large contract with the Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, a state-owned enterprise.
As Digital Journal reported earlier, China appears to be making the greatest use, compared with any other nation, of adopting facial recognition software and image scanning systems. This is both in the public and private spheres.
SenseTime was founded by Chinese University of Hong Kong professor Tang Xiaoou, and it achieved profitability in 2017. The aim was to develop facial recognition software that could be deployed for a wide variety of sectors, in keeping with the Chinese government's promotion of facial recognition technology. SenseTime applications include smart cities, smartphones, internet entertainment, automobiles, finance, retail and other industries.
In a short space of time, SenseTime, which was ranked fifth in China Money Network's China AI Top 10 Ranking in 2017. The company has experienced 400 percent growth over each of the past three years, with business contract revenue increasing more than 10-fold in 2018. According to SenseTime co-founder Xu Li: "We’re going to explore several new strategic directions and that’s why we shall spend more money on building infrastructure."
In related startup news, a new startup called block.one, which is a Cayman Islands-based company, has raised $4 billion through a year-long auction. See: "Blockchain start-up raises over $4 billion".
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