SenseTime, a Chinese AI company specialising in facial and image recognition technology, has closed a $600m Series C round.
The round was led by Alibaba Group Holding, with participation from Temasek Holdings and Chinese retailer Suning Commerce Group according to a SenseTime announcement.
SenseTime is valued at US$4.5bn, meaning it is the worldâ€™s most valuable artificial intelligence startup, according to a report by Reuters.
The round comes nearly a year after it completed a US$410m Series B round, which includes two portions: a series B1 round, which was led by Chinese private equity firm CDH Investments, and a B2 round led by Chinese investment firm Sailing Capital.
SenseTime said it the new funds will provide important impetus to the buildout of its AI platform, advancing the company’s technological innovation and opening up new business opportunities.
Li Xu, SenseTime Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, said, “SenseTime has established an AI ecosystem anchored with robust research, deep industry collaboration, and diverse partnerships. Our Round C funding will maximise these advantages by accelerating the development of a global footprint with a larger ecosystem incorporating both domestic and overseas partners. The funding will also help us widen the scope for more industrial application of AI, thus increasing the value of SenseTime’s global ecosystem.”
To date, it has established partnerships with more than 400 leading domestic and overseasÂ enterprisesÂ across security, FinTech, automobile, retail, smartphone, mobile Internet and robotics.
Its high-performance deep learning supercomputing platform claims to be one ofÂ China’sÂ largest, boasting over 8,000 GPUs. The Company leads the industry in a range of fields such as, autonomous driving, medical imaging and deep learning hardware optimisation.
SenseID provides integrated Cloud + Client solutions, including SDK, cloud services and integrated identity authentication terminals. Using functions such as living body detection, card recognition, and facial comparison, SenseID claims to be able to ensure the authenticity of the userâ€™s identity. SenseID claims to reduce business risks for financial firms and mobile network operators as well as reduces human resources expenditures. It is used by internet finance apps and intelligent self-service terminal devices.
In the financial space, SenseTime boasts Rong 360 and Focus media as clients. Founded in 2011, Rong360 uses big data, search, and other technologies, to present financial products from more than 100 banks to its users. SenseTime provides the SenseID identity verification service for fast loan products and its external service platform “Tianji”. Relying on its technology, SenseTime provides Rong360 with face identification (including liveness detection), identity verification, and ID card and credit card recognition functions.
Huanbei is a balance transfer app under Focus Media, providing credit card users with low interest rates and efficient credit card payment in installments. Using artificial intelligence technology, SenseTime facilitates the SenseID identity verification of registered users during their application process for a credit line, which includes face identification (including liveness detection), identity verification, and ID card and credit card recognition.
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