The Chinese tech startup Megvii is rumored to be planning an initial public offering for later in the year. The South China Morning Post reports that the IPO could take place in either Hong Kong or New York, although Hong Kong is considered to be more likely at this time.
Megvii is hoping to raise anywhere between $500 million and $800 million with the IPO, which is tentatively slated for July. A previous funding round brought in $600 million in 2018 thanks to backing from major conglomerates like Foxconn and Alibaba, the latter of which integrated Megvii’s facial recognition technology into the Alipay mobile payments platform.
Founded in 2011, Megvii specializes in AI-driven 3D facial recognition, and is also the developer of the Face++ facial recognition app. Its technology has been used in facial recognition solutions all over China, with applications in robotics, logistics, and law enforcement; and Megvii is also aiming for integrations into Android smartphones.
With the IPO, Megvii could be a bellwether for other Chinese tech startups in the next few years. If the offering goes well, other companies could follow suit, especially given the high density of startups and the enthusiasm for AI technology in the Chinese market.
Source: South China Morning Post
March 21, 2019 – by Eric Weiss