SenseTime raises $600 million to fund AI platform buildout

SenseTime has raised $600 million in a Series C funding round to support the buildout of its AI platform, continued technological innovation, and the company’s pursuit of new business opportunities, according to an announcement.

The funding round, which the company says represents a record high for the AI industry, was led by Alibaba, with Temasek and Suning among other participants. Alibaba became SenseTime’s biggest backer late last year with a $227 million investment.

“SenseTime has established an AI ecosystem anchored with robust research, deep industry collaboration, and diverse partnerships,” said Li Xu, SenseTime Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Our Round C funding will maximise these advantages by accelerating the development of a global footprint with a larger ecosystem incorporating both domestic and overseas partners. The funding will also help us widen the scope for more industrial application of AI, thus increasing the value of SenseTime’s global ecosystem.”

According to the announcement, SenseTime has become China’s largest AI platform and AI algorithm supplier, and it has more than 8,000 GPUs in its deep learning supercomputing platform. MIT announced SenseTime’s participation in its Intelligence Quest project earlier this year, and is has signed several agreements with Chinese state-owned enterprises and municipal governments. SenseTime is also providing facial recognition and big data analysis technology to Suning, which it says is the largest retailer of consumer electronics in China, to develop a “Store of the Future.”

The company also committed in March to creating a $790 million investment fund for Chinese AI companies.

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