Chinese AI startup 4Paradigm mulls listing on STAR Market

Artificial intelligence (AI) specialist 4Paradigm is planning to list on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-like STAR Market, founder and CEO Dai Wenyuan told Caixin on Thursday.

This announcement makes the Beijing-based company the latest in a slew of AI firms to reportedly plan a public debut, as they hope investors will buy into the sector as applications gradually proliferate.

The company will be ready to file a prospectus by early 2021, though no detailed timetable has yet been set, Dai told Caixin at a company event in Shanghai Thursday.

Founded in 2014 by Dai, a former senior scientist at China’s top search engine provider Baidu Inc., Beijing-based 4Paradigm provides big-data services for companies in industries including finance, retail and energy.

The revelation of the company’s planned IPO follows similar announcements from several of 4Paradigm’s peers recently. Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that

SenseTime Group Ltd., one of the domestic sector’s leaders, is exploring a dual listing in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Other AI companies also said to be mulling IPOs include facial-recognition specialists Megvii Technology Ltd. and CloudWalk.

4Paradigm raised $230 million in its latest round fundraising in April, giving it an estimated valuation of $2 billion. Among the company’s investors are U.S. software giant Cisco, state-owned Citic Bank International and Chinese personal computer titan Lenovo.

While 4Paradigm hasn’t released detailed financial information, Dai said the Covid-19 pandemic had hit business in the first few months of 2020, especially in the financial sector. However, that was partially offset by new demand from retailers, he said.

On Thursday, 4Paradigm also announced that it has partnered with controversial Chinese telecom-equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to launch data management platform Sage AIOS.

Its cooperation with Huawei comes as the company is looking to increase its use of products from domestic firms as Beijing calls for companies to buy local amid growing U.S. export restrictions.

According to Dai, though 4Paradigm largely relies on U.S. chipmakers Nvidia and Intel, it has recently formed a partnership with domestic AI-chip maker Cambricon Technologies, which itself listed on the STAR Market recently. Also, the company is looking to design its own chips for in-house use, Dai said.

This article was first published on Caixin Global.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.