Published on : May 31, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) is charting a new territory in technology advancement being witnessed in a wide range of industries world over. One key trend that has gathered steam in emerging markets is the copious funding secured by startups offering AI technologies. The encouraging part of the rapid inroad that IA is making across businesses of these economies is the massive support by the regional governments. Riding on the waves of this trend, SenseTime, a prominent Chinese AI company, announced on May 31, 2018 that it has secured US$620 million in the latest funding round considered as the “Series C+” round. It secured a similar quantum of funding only in last month in the financing round notably led by Alibaba Group, the Chinese multinational e-commerce giant. With the fresh injection, the startup that specializes in surveillance systems used for face and image recognition is being considered as the world’s highest-valued AI company.
Funding to be used for Talent and Acquisition
As confirmed by SenseTime, the investors in the latest round include Tiger Global, Silver Lake, HOPU Investment Management Company, and Fidelity International. It further adds that in both the rounds, the funding valued the company an upward of $4.5 Bn. Of note, the image recognition startup has in the series of funding in the last six months could triple its valuation in a year, which is remarkable by any startup standard. The fresh injection will be used for research and AI talent acquisition, more specifically cutting down reliance on external sources, where U.S. has a clear clout in the area at present.
Advancement in Surveillance Systems key Focus of Funds Injections in Recent Months
The pouring of money into numerous AI startups is fueling the ambition of the Chinese government to become a global leader by the end of 2030. According to SenseTime, it has over 400 customers across a wide range of application areas, including financial technology, automotive, smartphones, and smart city development. The regional government is its most natural partner with its offerings helping its customers expand surveillance systems across the country.