China eyes IPO and USD 2 bln funding round for AI biometrics

Wednesday 16 January 2019 11:57 CET | News

China’s government has been aiming to take the lead in AI technology by 2030, with an AI ethics committee supporting the technology’s development.

As such, Megvii is considering making an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange, in order to raise up to USD 1 billion in funding for its Face++ facial biometrics and other businesses. Deliberation plans are in an early stage, however Megvii is in talks with Alibaba to raise at least USD 500 million, based on a valuation of close to USD 4 billion. The prospective IPO would be expected to raise between USD 500 million and USD 1 billion. The company has been providing facial biometrics for Lenovo and Alibaba payments arm Ant Financial, as well as its technology has been deployed by the Chinese government to 260 cities, which helped the police in more than 10,000 arrests.

On the other hand, SenseTime is preparing its own funding round hoping to raise up to USD 2 billion. In 2018, the company picked up over USD 1.2 billion in financing in two rounds, including a May funding round based on a valuation of more than USD 4.5 billion. Alibaba led the previous USD 600 million round.

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Keywords: China, IPO, funding, AI, biometrics, Alibaba, Megvii, SenseTime, facial biometrics, payments , government
Countries: World