Megvii On Track for $600M Funding Round with Alibaba Backing: Reports

“Like other China-based AI specialists that have announced huge investment rounds in recent weeks, including Yitu and SenseTime, Megvii appears to have benefitted from the Chinese government’s immense appetite for AI-driven technologies such as facial recognition that offer compelling law enforcement and surveillance applications.”

Megvii On Track for $600M Funding Round with Alibaba Backing: Reports

It looks like Megvii is poised to become the next Chinese AI specialist to raise hundreds of millions in investor backing: According to new reports, the facial recognition specialist is likely to announce at least $600 million in funding from its latest funding round in the coming weeks.

The company made headlines earlier this month with the news that it was working on 3D face scanning and head modelling technology with Vivo, and its announcement of a 3D facial recognition system for an Android-based OPPO device that Megvii claimed to be more effective than Apple’s Face ID technology. Those developments appear to be helping Megvii to drum up some considerable investor interest, with Alibaba thought to be one of its latest backers. Megvii has previously worked with Alibaba on facial recognition for its Alipay mobile payments platform, a collaboration that started way back in 2014.

Megvii has also previously received funding from the Chinese government, via the state-owned Capital Venture Investment Fund and the Russia-China Investment Fund. Like other China-based AI specialists that have announced huge investment rounds in recent weeks, including Yitu and SenseTime, Megvii appears to have benefitted from the Chinese government’s immense appetite for AI-driven technologies such as facial recognition that offer compelling law enforcement and surveillance applications.

Nevertheless, Megvii clearly has its eyes on the consumer market as well, given its recent collaborations with partners in the mobile sector, and the private sector players in its roster of investors, which, in addition to Alibaba, also includes notable Apple supplier Foxconn.

Sources: Bloomberg, Asia Times

July 24, 2018 – by Alex Perala