AI Unicorn SenseTime Reported to Pursue $2 Billion Hong Kong IPO

sensetime
(Source: China Daily)

SenseTime Group Ltd., an artificial intelligence company, is reportedly cooperating with HSBC Holdings Plc to arrange an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong to raise at least $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. SenseTime and HSBC both have not issued any response yet.

As early as 2017, Tang Xiao’ou, founder of SenseTime, said that “the company is considering listing in the United States, Hong Kong or the Chinese Mainland”.

According to data from TianYanCha.com, SenseTime has already completed 10 rounds of financing from 2014 to 2018, with a cumulative financing amount of about $4 billion.

At the end of January this year, Tencent News reported that SenseTime completed the Pre-IPO round of fundraising at the end of 2020. The investors were mainly Chinese-funded institutions, including some state-owned venture capital firms, and SenseTime’s post-investment valuation was then about $12 billion.

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A Financing Plan of SenseTime, one of the company’s publicly available documents, showed that the firm’s revenue was 5.06 billion yuan ($78.05 million) in 2019 with a gross profit margin of 43%. Its gross profit was 2.16 billion yuan; In 2017 and 2018, the net interest rate of SenseTime was 2% and 3% respectively, and the net profit was 11 million yuan and 59 million yuan respectively.

Established in 2014, SenseTime Group Ltd. focuses on the research and development of original technologies for computer vision and deep learning. The company has already independently developed and established a deep learning and supercomputing platform with a series of artificial intelligence technologies.