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Business trends

AI startup SenseTime raises $1.2bn in less than two months

Fidelity and Qualcomm join latest round of fundraising

SenseTime's surveillance software identifies details about people and vehicles in a demonstration at the company's office in Beijing.   © Reuters

Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence startup SenseTime on Thursday said it raised $620 million in its second funding round in less than two months, highlighting intense global interest in the sector.

The latest round involved a fresh roster of investors, including Fidelity International, Hopu Capital, Silver Lake and Tiger Global, along with Qualcomm Ventures. The deal values SenseTime at over $4.5 billion, the company said.

The injection follows a $600 million round in April led by Alibaba Group Holding, which SenseTime billed as the largest fundraising ever in the AI sector.

SenseTime develops facial and other image recognition technology using AI. Founded in 2014, it has grown on the back of China's ambitions to become a world leader in AI technology. The company said it has agreed to partner with China's largest subway operator, Shanghai Shentong Metro Group, for traffic monitoring.

The startup said it would use the latest fundraising to continue to invest in research and development and talent.

Wataru Suzuki 

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