Alibaba leads $600m SenseTime funding
Written by Chris Lemmon
Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) firm SenseTime has raised $600 million in a Series C funding round, led by Alibaba group, with participation from Temasek and Suning.
The injection of funding will be used to expand the SenseTime’s AI platform, advancing the company’s technological innovation and opening up new business opportunities.
Boasting over 8,000 graphics processing units, the deep-learning platform is able to support building models with billions of parameters, categorising huge amounts of data and training billions of images. With the platform, SenseTime is leading ground-breaking research and development in a range of fields, including autonomous driving, medical imaging, and deep learning hardware optimisation.
“SenseTime has established an AI ecosystem anchored with robust research, deep industry collaboration, and diverse partnerships,” said Li Xu, co-founder and chief executive of SenseTime. “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.”
Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, said SenseTime is doing pioneering work in artificial intelligence. “We are especially impressed by their R&D capabilities in deep learning and visual computing. Our business at Alibaba is already seeing tangible benefits from our investments in AI and we are committed to further investment.”
The latest funding round sets a new record for venture capital funding in the AI sector, breaking the previous record set by SenseTime in its Series B funding round, when the firm raised $410 million.