China-based SenseTime recently cemented its position as the most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) startup in the world after raising $620 million in a second financing round in just two months.
The firm recently revealed the details by saying that the funds came from well-known investors such as Tiger Global, Silver Lake, Fidelity International, Hopu Capital as well as Qualcomm’s venture capital firm.
This latest financing round has propelled SenseTime’s valuation to more than $4.5 billion, having secured over $1.6 billion to date.
The company revealed that it became lucrative last year and had been growing by roughly 400 percent per year for the past three consecutive years.
Also, SenseTime said that its business contract revenue’s growth had exceeded 10-fold, particularly for 2018 until May.
Early in April this year, SenseTime made headlines after raising $600 million in a funding round led by Alibaba Group Holding. Other firms/ investors involved in the round included Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings and Chinese retailer Suning.com.
In fact, this exercise was the first to place the company in the top rank as the most valuable AI startup globally.
Tang Xiaoou, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, is behind the creation of SenseTime.
Since its establishment, the company has grown into one of the foremost home-grown artificial intelligence companies to lead China’s efforts or ambitions for worldwide technology leadership.
Its artificial intelligence (AI)-based technologies can identify images, characters and faces as well as deliver video analysis.
The artificial intelligence (AI) applications and technology in various areas including retail, finance, smartphones, smart cities, autonomous automobiles, Internet entertainment among other industries.
Additionally, the Chinese authorities leverage SenseTime’s AI technology to undertake surveillance in a bid to spot persons of interest, especially when conducting criminal investigations.
SenseTime boasts of over 700 customers and strategic partners including Xiaomi, Huawei and China Mobile, which is a Chinese telecommunications giant.
Recently, the company revealed that it signed an agreement with Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, China’s largest subway operator, aimed at using artificial intelligence to oversee metro traffic.
It also signed another contract with the city of Chengdu to build a regional headquarter.
Furthermore, SenseTime collaborated with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park and Alibaba to make the HK AI Lab, which is aimed at transforming Hong Kong into an innovation hub.
Since realizing that finding enough talent is a common problem for most artificial intelligence firms, SenseTime opted to come up with a textbook in a bid to build interest in technology in the next generation of Chinese students.
What’s more, the firm looks forward to creating artificial intelligence (AI)-powered laboratory experiments and courses aimed at promoting technology in schools.
China has made the creation of artificial intelligence (AI) among other technologies a key pillar of its endeavors to transform its economy and secure leadership in what is currently being referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.
As such, the country’s government has created a blueprint for facilitating AI as well as appointing national champions to assist in leading development in various fields of technology.
According to various reports, Beijing plans to create a $2.12 billion AI park in the city, which is aimed at housing companies that deal with biometric identification, big data, cloud computing, and deep learning.