Sources have said that SenseTime Group the developer of facial recognition technology and based in China has tripled in value in under a year’s time after a new funding round that Alibaba Group Holding led, valued the business at approximately $4.5 billion
The round of fundraising arrives at a time when the Chinese government is pushing to become a leader internationally in artificial intelligence or AI, by 2025. At that time its goal is to have an industries value for AI of 400 billion yuan or $63.3 billion.
SenseTime was able to raise $600 million in its funding round through attracting such investors as Suning, an ecommerce company in China and Temasek Holdings the Singapore state fund, it announced on Monday through a statement.
The company has not released its valuation however it did say it is not the most valuable AI platform in the world. It also said it established a world record for what it raised during a single round of funding by an AI company.
SenseTime last July was given a value of $1.5 billion following its funding round of $410 million, led by CDH Investments from China and Sailing Capital a state-supported fund.
A spokesperson for SenseTime did not comment when asked about the company valuation.
Dual-based in Hong Kong and Beijing, SenseTime specializes in developing applications that use facial recognition, as well as video analysis amongst other areas that include autonomous driving. Qualcomm the U.S. based chipmaker is one of its existing investors.
It has enjoyed very fast growth as both the public and private sectors upgrade to more advanced technologies. It has engagement in up to 14 sectors, and it lists several police departments in China as big clients.
The executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Joe Tsai said through a prepared statement that the company was especially impressed by its R&D capabilities in visual computing and deep learning. Alibaba business is already seeing several tangible benefits from its investments in AI and is already committed to mush more investment in the near future.