“AnyVision says the funding will go toward further refinement of its AI-driven technologies…”
AnyVision announced today the close of a major new funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Eldridge. The round – which featured contributions from existing investors as well – brought in $235 million, making it “one of the largest funding rounds in the visual intelligence space in Western markets,” as AnyVision put it in a statement.
The company has demonstrated its prowess in the field of facial recognition, achieving a top-ten ranking in recent testing via the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Face Recognition Vendor Test, in which it also attained the top ranking among developers based in the West. AnyVision says the funding will go toward further refinement of its AI-driven technologies, explaining that it will fuel “product innovation in edge computing and Access Point AI used to optimize touchless access control, video surveillance, and watchlist alerting.”
The company went on to explain that the funding will also help it to expand into new markets and to build its channel program. AnyVision is currently active in the areas of financial services, venue access, education, gaming, healthcare, and critical infrastructure.
Beyond the large amount of funding, the involvement of Japan’s SoftBank lends a particular aura of prestige to the funding round. The group is known for making big bets on tech startups, and reported a profit of almost $46 billion for the fiscal year ended March, 2021, besting even Berkshire Hathaway with respect to the latter’s last fiscal year. The company’s interest in AnyVision therefore may be read as a particularly strong signal by industry analysts.
“The visual recognition market is nascent but has large potential in the Western world,” commented SoftBank Investment Advisers Partner Anthony Doeh. “We have witnessed the transformative power of AI, biometrics and edge computing in other categories, and believe AnyVision is uniquely placed to redefine physical environment analytics across numerous industries.”
As part of the terms of SoftBank’s investment, SoftBank Vision Fund Director Amit Lubovsky will be appointed to AnyVision’s Board of Directors.
The announcement of the funding round comes after AnyVision issued an open letter last month urging the NIST to write up ethical guidelines concerning the use of facial recognition technology.
July 7, 2021 – by Alex Perala