Intellifusion, a Chinese AI firm famed for its facial recognition solutions in the public security space, has garnered nearly 1 billion yuan ($141 million) in a Series Pre-IPO round of financing that will back its continued R&D in AI algorithms, AI chips and big data.
The Pre-IPO round was led by Chinese government-linked Guangdong Finance Fund Management, US venture capital firm Walden International, and Forebright Capital Management, a USD-denominated private equity unit of state-owned enterprise China Everbright Group, said Beijing-based ZhenFund in a WeChat post on Friday.
ZhenFund, the earliest investor of Intellifusion, injected millions of yuan in the firm’s angel round in September 2015.
A slew of Chinese domestic investors, such as Topping Capital, Guangzhou-based BOC&GFIH Private Equity Fund Management, Chinese state-owned publishing house Shenzhen Publishing Group, and Shenzhen-based HCSD Capital, participated in the investment.
Other investors include CCB International, a financial and investment affiliate of China Construction Bank (CCB), Hong Kong-based Bank of Communications’ subsidiary BOCOM International, and Sino-US Venture Capital (SUVC), which backs high-tech startups across China and the United States.
Founded in 2014, Intellifusion developed its first recognition product “DeepEye” on the back of a 40-million-yuan ($4.56 million) capital support granted from southern China’s Shenzhen government. The startup quickly made a name for itself by providing the local police with such products, which feature non-cooperative facial recognition, meaning identification of people from their faces as they move around rather than in stationary poses for cameras.
Intellifusion’s DeepEye system, which has been adopted across over 100 cities in China and internationally, was initially used for identifying criminals and then extended more controversially to naming and shaming jaywalkers, as well as other application scenarios like fingerprint matching and thermal scanning at the border control between the mainland and Hong Kong.
Intellifusion raised hundred million yuan in a Series B round from investors like Hong Kong-based commercial bank China CITIC Bank International, and Bank of China (BOC)’s subsidiary BOC International in March 2019.
In March 2017, the company closed tens of millions of U.S. dollars in a Series A round from Chinese venture capital firm Green Pine Capital Partners (GPCP), state-owned Shenzhen Investment Holdings and others. Financial terms of the previous rounds remained undisclosed.