Facial recognition firm Megvii raises $460m

Chinese facial recognition startup Megvii, the developer of Face++ facial recognition software, has raised $460 million in its latest financing round from several investors including a Chinese state fund, Ant Financial and Foxconn Technology, according to a Reuters report.

A previous round of financing last December valued Face++ at $2 billion. For that round, Megvii raised at least $100 million from several investors led by Foxconn Technology Group and CCB International Holdings Ltd.

The Beijing-based startup developed Alipay’s “scan your face to pay” face recognition feature.

The latest funding round was led by the China State-owned Venture Capital Fund — a 200 billion yuan ($30.17 billion) state-controlled fund set up in 2016 to invest in the country’s startups — as well as existing investors Alibaba Group Holding Ltd affiliate Ant Financial and Foxconn.

Rounding out the group of investors are Russia-China Investment Fund, a joint venture of sovereign wealth funds, and South Korea’s SK Group, according to the source, who asked not to be named.

The funding round of Face++ comes as the country is seeing a significant boom in facial recognition startups.

In July, Sensetime Group raised $410 million from Chinese investors, which, at the time, was reportedly the largest single financing round for any artificial intelligence company.

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