Startup Company MiniMax Completes Series B Funding, Doubling Its Valuation

The large-scale startup company MiniMax recently announced the completion of a new round of financing.

Tianyancha App shows that on March 4th, Minimax added a new round B financing update, with Alibaba Group Holding Limited as the investor. The amount of financing has not been disclosed. There are reports suggesting that this round of financing may be led by Alibaba Group Holding Limited and is a ‘large-scale’ funding round.

Currently, the company MiniMax is owned by Shanghai Xiyu Jizhi Technology Co., Ltd., established in 2021. It is a subsidiary of MiniMax HONGKONG Limited with 100% ownership. The company’s tags include AIGC, ChatBot, AI large models, data services, etc. As a domestic technology company that integrates multiple modalities such as text, voice, and vision into a universal large model engine capability and connects the entire product chain technically, the MiniMax team is committed to using leading universal artificial intelligence engine technology to improve user feedback levels through multi-scenario and multi-dimensional applications and interactions. They also focus on integrating multi-modal AI technology into practical applications.

SEE ALSO: Alibaba Leads Funding for Large-Scale Model Startup MiniMax

Since 2022, up to now MiniMax has received 4 rounds of financing, with a luxurious lineup of investors. In the angel investing round, Yunqi Partners joined in. In July of the same year, a series of investments poured in from top players such as miHoYo, GL Ventures, Future Capital and IDG in the Pre round A financing. After completing the financing, the valuation is about $500 million.

Last June, after completing a $250 million round A financing, the company’s valuation soared to $1.2 billion. It was reported that Tencent had splurged $40 million in this round of financing. It is understood that after the completion of this new round B financing, MiniMax’s valuation will double to $2.5 billion.

It is worth noting that there have been some changes in the core founding team of MiniMax before and after this round of financing.

In previous public reports, the company’s founders Yan Junjie and Zhou Yucong both come from SenseTime. Yan Junjie was previously responsible for building the deep learning toolchain and underlying algorithms at SenseTime Technology, as well as the technical development of general intelligence; Zhou Yucong once led the algorithm team at SenseTime. MiniMax was also once seen as a “SenseTime-related” startup. The company’s technical partner Yang Bin graduated from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Automation, worked at Uber AI Research Institute, has many years of research and development experience in autonomous truck driving field, and has conducted significant research on data-driven end-to-end unmanned truck transportation issues.

In October 2022, Yang Bin took over from Song Yachen as the legal representative of Shanghai Xiyu Jizhi Technology Co., Ltd. In February of this year, there was another change in the legal representative of the company, with Yang Bin stepping down and being replaced by Wei Wei. At the same time, there was also a change in the company’s financial officer. Wei Wei is currently also the legal representative of Beijing Xiyu Jizhi Technology. This month, Yan Junjie was appointed as an executive director for both Shanghai Xiyu Jizhi and Beijing Xiyu Jizhi.

After the change, Yang Bin’s name no longer appears in the executive list of Shanghai Xiyu Jizhi, and there is no trace of Beijing Xiyu Jizhi, Shanghai Xiyu, and other companies related to Shanghai Xiyu Jizhi. Another founder from SenseTime, Zhou Yucong, is currently the legal representative of Shanghai Xiyu Technology Co., Ltd., which is controlled by Yan Junjie with a shareholding ratio as high as 99.5%.

In a few previous reports, MiniMax was once hailed as an ‘unicorn’ company by AIGC. At the end of August last year, MiniMax’s large-scale product ABAB large model passed the first batch filing of the ‘Interim Measures for Management of Generative Artificial Intelligence Services’ and became one of eight large models in the same batch, including Baidu ERNIE Bot and Douyin Skylark.

According to the comprehensive evaluation benchmark of the SuperCLUE Chinese general large model released in August 2023, MiniMax’s MiniMax-abab5 model ranks fourth on the OPT leaderboard, just behind ChatGPT-4, ChatGPT-3.5, and Claude-2, ranking first among domestic large model products.

According to the information on the MiniMax official website, the company is currently focusing on developing two major business segments: text large model capabilities and application scenarios, as well as speech large model capabilities and application scenarios.

To B, it currently provides services on the Volcano Engine, WPS and other platforms for enterprise users to customize their own personalized large model services. For example, the WPS AI large model officially released by Kingsoft Office in April last year was provided by MiniMax. In addition, MiniMax has also partnered with leading companies in various industries such as domestic games and social platforms.

In terms of To C, MiniMax has launched the AI chat social app Glow, focusing on emotional companionship in social interactions. It allows users to create virtual characters called ‘intelligent beings’. Within just 4 months of its launch, the number of users has already reached close to 5 million.

At the time of publication, the official website includes scene examples such as recruitment, homework correction, question and answer for topics, reasoning games, intelligent NPCs, digital human/IP replication, conversational chatbots, code generation, search functions, meetings, customer service support , office efficiency tools, comment/copywriting creation services,content summarization,youth/emotional analysis,and translation assistants.