China: AI startup SenseTime raises $120m led by CDH Investments

Chinese deep learning startup SenseTime has raised $120 million led by Beijing-based alternative asset management firm CDH Investments.

According to a report in China Money Network, Chinese multinational conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, VC firms IDG Capital & StarVC and other investors also took part in the round.

The startup will use the money for building its deep learning infrastructure and expand application of its technology.

“Deep learning has high technical barriers and there is a lack of talent in the field,” said Niu Kuiguang, a partner at IDG Capital.

Founded in 2014 by Xu Xiaolan, SenseTime focuses on invention of computer vision and deep learning technologies. It develops face recognition technology that can be applied to payment and picture analysis, which could be used on bank card verification and security systems.

Its customers include companies like China Mobile, HNA Group, Huawei, Xiaomi, Sina and have used the company’s products.

The company aims to compete directly with global IT companies like Google and Facebook.

CDH, one of the largest alternative asset management institutions in China, recently led a $30 million Series A round in Shanghai-based Fountown, a co-working space startup.

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