May 14, 2021

China’s people surveillance AI startup tops $4.5B valuation

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By Simon Alvarez From Teslarati

Chinese AI startup SenseTime, a company that develops people surveillance software for the country’s law enforcement, recently finished a new funding round worth $600 million. The latest round, led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, raised SenseTime’s total valuation to over $4.5 billion.

According to CB Insights, an analyst firm, SenseTime’s total valuation today has made it the most valuable AI startup in the world. If any, the $600 million funding round proves that even private investors such as Alibaba are taking AI very seriously, and they are willing to provide resources to help companies such as SenseTime grow and thrive.

SenseTime’s business model for its AI solutions is very well balanced. On the one hand, it develops AI-powered services for mainstream smartphone makers such as Oppo and Vivo. Some of these services include the popular “Beautification” effects featured in the smartphone-makers’ camera applications. Even Chinese social media platforms such as Weibo adopt this technology in some form, through the use of AR filters developed by the startup.

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