Business Startups Venture

China’s Face++ Raises $750M For Facial Recognition

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) developer Megvii, commonly known as Face++, announced that it raised $750 million in fresh funding, at a valuation reportedly topping $4 billion, according to Reuters.

Megvii is also apparently prepping for an initial public offering for later this year.

Subscribe to the Crunchbase Daily

Bank of China Group Investment (BOCGI) Ltd., the state bank’s private equity arm, led the financing with a $200 million contribution, Reuters reported. Macquarie Group, ICBC Asset Management (Global) Co. and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and existing backer Alibaba Group also reportedly participated in this round.

Since it was founded in 2011, Megvii has raised a total of $1.4 billion, according to its Crunchbase profile.

Plot 97

The financing coincides with rising adoption of its facial recognition technology, along with concerns about impacts on privacy. SenseTime, also a China-based AI company focused on facial recognition, has raised a total of $2.6 billion over time. Last September, it brought in a $1 billion Series D that valued the company at $6 billion.

As our Holden Page wrote in 2017, facial and image recognition technology has proven to be a critical capability in recent years. It’s a feature that has made its way as a main selling point in the iPhone, and startups involved in the space are banking large sums of money on their ability to identify users and their devices.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias


Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Copy link