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Chinese AI startup Face++ in talks to raise $500 mn: Report

Chinese AI startup Face++ in talks to raise $500 mn: Report

Chinese AI-based facial recognition startup Face++ is in talks to raise $500 million in funding at a $3.5-billion valuation, according to a report. Bank of China Group Investment is reportedly looking to lead the round with $200 million. Founded in 2011 by Qi Yin, Tang Wenbin and Yang Mu, Face++ provides facial recognition and AI technology to businesses.

Face++

Bank of China Group Investment Ltd, the state bank’s private equity (PE) arm, is looking to lead the fundraising with $200 million, two of the people told Reuters, declining to be named as the information is confidential. Terms of the fundraising have not been finalised, the people added.

Beijing-based Megvii declined to comment. Bank of China’s PE arm did not respond to a request for comment.

Megvii’s latest fundraising comes amid Beijing’s plans to build a ubiquitous closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance network and become an international leader in AI, a technology that is increasingly becoming key to various sectors.

Chinese and some foreign investors are pouring money into start-up firms that specialize in AI given Beijing’s emphasis on the technology. Investments in the sector surged to nearly $2 billion this year via 75 deals, more than four times the total value in the previous two years, according to Refinitiv data.

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