Yitu files application for major face biometrics IPO in China

Yitu files application for major face biometrics IPO in China

Yitu Technology is the latest facial biometrics unicorn based in China to apply for an initial public offering on a domestic exchange, Shine reports, with a filing to the Shanghai Securities Regulatory Bureau.

Along with fellow biometrics providers CloudWalk, Megvii and SenseTime, Yitu is one of China’s four “AI Dragons,” and the second to file the IPO paperwork, following CloudWalk’s August application. Neither company has confirmed which exchange it is planning to launch on, though Yitu was rumored to be thinking of listing on Shanghai’s tech-focused “Star” exchange. Shine reports that the exchange provides loose and flexible entry thresholds, and Yitu and CloudWalk are both expected to join it.

Yitu has also retained Guotai Junan Securities to help prepare its listing. No timeline was provided in the application.

Megvii is reported to be considering an IPO next year, and SenseTime postponed its IPO plans, though revenues for each have apparently remained strong.

While Megvii and SenseTime each held around 20 percent of China’s $1.46 billion AI machine vision market in 2019, Yitu and CloudWalk are estimated to hold market shares around half that size, Caixin Global reports. All four companies are included on the U.S. Entity List for alleged involvement in human rights abuses.

Businesses data service Qixinbao says Yitu raised $30 million in a March financing round.

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