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AI facial recognition firm CloudWalk Technology raises $75M in Series B funding


China-based CloudWalk Technology has raised 500 million yuan ($75 million) in Series B funding as it rapidly expands its operations, China Money Network reports.

The funding round was led by Shunwei Capital, Oriza Holdings and Puhua Capital, with participation from Yuexiu Financial Holdings Group, Shenzhen Qianhai Xingwang Investment Co. and a fund co-invested by Galaxy Holding and Zhangjiang Group, according to the report.

The company also confirmed that in late 2016, it received 2 billion yuan ($301 million) from the Guangzhou government to establish an AI image center there. It also has research facilities in Shanghai, Chongqing and Chengdu, and collaborations with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Silicon Valley labs.

CloudWalk provides hardware products such as facial recognition terminals, facial recognition physical access controls, and big data and facial recognition platforms for use by commercial airlines and police departments.

Its big data facial recognition system is used by 23 police departments, and CloudWalk is a service provider for China’s controversial “Police Cloud” effort, which includes the use of AI to attempt to predict crime, as previously reported. Human Rights Watch recently called on China to end the program.

The funding round follows on the heels of investments in facial recognition competitors SenseTime by Qualcomm as part of a pending $500 million funding round, and Face++ developer Megvii, which closed a $460 million Series C funding round.

CloudWalk also announced a deal to provide facial recognition technology to the Bank of China in October.

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