China’s AI giant SenseTime readies Hong Kong IPO

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SenseTime, one of China’s largest AI solutions providers, is one step closer to its initial public offering. sensetime is received regulatory approval According to media reports, to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

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Founded in 2014, SenseTime was named as one of the four “AI Dragons” of China, along with Megwi, Cloudwalk and Yitu. In the late 2010s, their algorithms found great demand from businesses and governments hoping to turn real-life data into actionable insights. The cameras fitted with its AI model see the city streets 24 hours a day. Malls use their sensory solutions to track and predict congestion on campus.

Three of SenseTime’s rivals have all considered plans to sell shares in mainland China or Hong Kong. Megvi is preparing to list on China’s Nasdaq-style star board after its HKEX application ends.

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The window for China’s data-rich tech firms to list abroad has narrowed. Beijing is making it harder for companies with sensitive data to go public outside China. And regulators in the West are wary of facial recognition companies that could aid in mass surveillance.

But in the past few years, China’s AI upstart has been sought after by investors around the world. In 2018 alone, SenseTime introduced . Ranked more than $2 billion investment, To date, the company has raised $5.2 billion in funding through 12 rounds. Its largest external shareholders include SoftBank Vision Fund and Alibaba’s Taobao. For its floatation in Hong Kong, SenseTime plans to raise up to $2 billion, according to Reuters,

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Sensetime spends a substantial portion of its capital on research and development, which cost more than 5 billion yuan ($780 million) between 2018 and 2020. The company reported a net loss over the past four years, mainly due to a “fair value loss”. Our favorite shares. Its net loss reached 3.7 billion yuan in the first half of 2021. The total deficit reached close to 23 billion yuan by June.

Like its peers, SenseTime relied on “smart city” projects for monetization. Trading comprised 47.6% of total revenues of 1.65 billion yuan in the six months ended June, up from a share of 27% in the same period of 2020. The number of cities using SenseTime’s software platform reached 119 by June, according to the firm’s prospectus.

The “smart business” line, which is tailored to commercial space, residential property and other enterprise needs, made up about 40% of its revenue in the first half of this year. The firm derived the rest of its revenue from the “Smart Life” unit, which supplies IoT devices, and the “Smart Auto”, which applies perception intelligence to autonomous driving solutions.

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