Chinese AI company SenseTime has become the world’s most valuable AI startup having raised $600mn in a Series C funding round led by Alibaba Group.
Having been founded just four years earlier in 2014, SenseTime is now valued at $4.5bn following the $600mn funding round.
Further, the funding round set a new record in the way of venture capital funding in the AI sector, having previously set this record in July 2017 with its Series B funding round having raised $410mn.
“SenseTime is doing pioneering work in artificial intelligence. We are especially impressed by their R&D capabilities in deep learning and visual computing,” said Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group. “Our business at Alibaba is already seeing tangible benefits from our investments in AI and we are committed to further investment.”
SenseTime offers AI-powered facial recognition technologies that can be used in industries such as banking, with the company having said that it will use the funding to expand its platform and open up greater business opportunity.
“SenseTime has established an AI ecosystem anchored with robust research, deep industry collaboration, and diverse partnerships,” said Li Xu, SenseTime Cofounder and CEO.
“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.”
SenseTime has already been working with a number of leading names offering its AI solutions including Qualcomm, Honda, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).