Chinese facial recognition unicorn Megvii reportedly considering IPO on New York Stock Exchange
Megvii is considering its options for an initial public offering which could bring in up to $800 million to support the expansion of its facial biometrics business, including whether to list its shares in New York or Hong Kong, a source told the South China Morning Post.
A source told Bloomberg earlier this year that Megvii is hoping to raise between $500 million and $1 billion in an IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange, which is still the more likely venue for the listing, according to SCMP’s source.
The Face++ maker has set a preliminary offering date for July, and intends to raise between $500 million and $800 million, according to the report. A company spokesperson reached by the SCMP declined to comment. Megvii’s facial recognition and computer vision technology has helped the Ministry of Public Security make more than 5,000 arrests since 2016, and the company’s corporate clients include Lenovo, Foxconn, Ant Financial, Xiaomi and Vivo.
Several Chinese facial recognition and surveillance start-ups are exploring the possibility of public listings this year, and with 6 of the world’s 11 AI unicorns – startups valued at $1 billion or more – any IPOs could be a test for how global capital markets perceive the leaders of China’s AI ecosystem.
Megvii was reported late last year to be seeking at least $500 million in funding to compete with industry leader SenseTime. The company also launched an IoT platform to address the logistics market in January.