Analysis: SenseTime feels a $620m round · Articles · Global Corporate Venturing
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4 June 2018

Analysis: SenseTime feels a $620m round

Artificial intelligence developer SenseTime raised $620m in a C+ funding in addition to the $600m series C round it had previously received

Author: Kaloyan Andonov, reporter, GCV Analytics

China-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology company SenseTime completed a series C+ round at $620m. The round included Qualcomm Ventures, the corporate venture capital unit of mobile semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm, as well financial services group Fidelity International, among other investors. The transaction reportedly valued the company at over $4.5bn.

SenseTime has received significant corporate backing in rounds whose sum total adds up to over $1.6bn to date. The C+ round took place weeks after the company completed $600m in a series C round led by e-commerce group Alibaba, which also featured retailer Suning and Singaporean state-owned investment firm Temasek. Qualcomm is actually a repeat investor, as its China Venture Fund had committed an undisclosed amount to SenseTime in November 2017. Property development group Dalian Wanda partook in its series B round which closed at $410m.

Founded in 2014, SenseTime develops deep learning technology that relies on computer vision to facilitate applications such as facial recognition, image processing, language recognition and vehicle recognition. The company claims it achieved profitability in 2017 as well as a 400% year-on-year growth rate over the past three years.

The field of core artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) has received much attention from corporate investors, as the historical bar chart from GCV Analytics illustrates. Most such rounds were raised by businesses based in North America, primarily the US, but the Asia-based AI and ML developers have been also gaining momentum.

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