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Face biometrics startups lead AI sector in attracting major investment

Facial recognition companies are leaders among the ranks of artificial intelligence startups attracting major investments, with SenseTime totaling $1.63 billion in total funding, according to a CB Insights study reported by the Wall Street Journal.

The study covers 100 AI startups seen as most promising, and includes many businesses focused on automating robotic processes, as well as biometrics companies such as SenseTime, Megvii, and YITU Technology.

With its $1.63 billion, SenseTime tops the list for the most investment, after Alibaba led a funding round in April, 2018. Since then, the company has reportedly held talks with SoftBank Group’s investment fund, the world’s largest technology investor, and Alibaba has poured money into Megvii. SenseTime’s current projects include a partnership with the municipal government of Shanghai to analyze vehicle and pedestrian information to reduce traffic, and a partnership with Honda for autonomous driving.

Megvii has raised $608 million so far, according to the report, and is also in talks with Alibaba for a potential $500 million in further funding. YITU has raised $355.1 million. Megvii technology is used for customer payments by Alipay, while 20,000 ATMs use YITU facial recognition for cardless withdrawals.

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