China-based artificial intelligence platform for health data company iCarbonX is now valued at approximately $1 billion after completing a Series A round of financing recently, according to a report on Netease’s tech news site.
Netease also reported that iCarbonX’s Series A round was closed at CNY 1 billion (around $155 million). The round was led by Chinese Internet company Tencent, and saw participation from an existing investor Vcanbio Cell & Gene Engineering Corporation, Ltd.
The funds will be used to produce and collect data, analyse the data collected, and improve its artificial intelligence model for further data analysis.
Earlier in January 2016, an article on China Money Network said that the company was raising $106 million at a valuation of CNY 5 billion. It added that Vcanbio intends to work with iCarbonX to further improve its “genome sequencing resources and storage services”.
The startup, which was established last October, has surprised many with the speed that it is working with. Led by Jun Wang, the former CEO of Beijing Genomics Institute, iCarbonX intends to use data and artificial intelligence to assist users with managing their own health. Its main challenge now would be to collect enough data in order to make predictions that are useful for its users.
With the consent of the person whose data will be collected, iCarbonX gathers all sorts of data, including genomic, phenotypic, behavioural, social,and environmental data, and opens it to relevant parties, according to China Daily, which likened the company to ‘the next Google’ in the biotechnology field.
Wang revealed that a few of the products are being tested in one or two cities, and that he would share more information at a later stage.
In an earlier interaction with Fierce Biotech, Wang said that the company intends to give drug manufacturers, hospitals and healthcare providers access to its data, and go global.
Other Chinese tech companies that have secured more than $1 billion in valuation include handset manufacturer Xiaomi ($41.3 billion); Internet finance lending company Dianrong ($1 billion); and food delivery company Ele.me ($4.5 billion).