Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) unicorn startup SenseTime has officially listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx), with a selling price per share of 3.85 HKD ($0.49) and at one point rising as high as 20%.
As of 9:30 am on December 30, SenseTime’s share price had risen 13.77% to 4.38 HKD apiece, with a market value of 145.777 billion HKD ($18.693 billion).
According to the IPO results released on December 29, SenseTime has sold 1.5 billion shares globally, including 150 million shares sold in Hong Kong and 1.35 billion shares sold internationally, all of which were oversubscribed. The issue price is set at 3.85 HKD per share, the issue scale is 5.775 HKD, and the net fundraising is 5.552 billion HKD. If the over-allotment shares are exercised, SenseTime will raise a net amount of 847 million HKD through the sale of 225 million shares.
According to the offering price and relevant cornerstone investment agreements, the nine cornerstone investors locked on by SenseTime have subscribed for 1.033 billion shares, with a subscription scale of 3.977 billion HKD.
The cornerstone investors include the mixed-ownership reform fund under China Chengtong Holdings Group, Xuhui Capital, Guosheng Group, Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Industry Investment Fund, SAIC Motor, Guotai Junan Securities, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, C-Mer Eye Care Holdings, and Taizhou Cultural Tourism Asset Management Co., Ltd.
Established in 2014, SenseTime is an AI company founded by Tang Xiao’ou, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. With the upsurge of AI entrepreneurship, SenseTime has been heavily favored by capital markets. Since its establishment, the company has received financing 12 times in total, totaling more than $5.2 billion. The firm has now developed to become the highest valued AI startup in the world.
According to its prospectus, the revenue accumulated by SenseTime in the first half of 2021 was 1.652 billion yuan ($259 million), compared with 861 million yuan in the same period of 2020, up 91.87% year-on-year. In the first half of 2021, losses totaled 3.713 billion yuan, compared with 5.333 billion yuan in the same period of 2020, and the net loss under non-IFRS was 726 million yuan, reduced from 1.100 billion yuan in the same period of 2020.
In terms of R&D, the company’s prospectus shows that SenseTime spent 849 million yuan, 1.92 billion yuan, 2.45 billion yuan and 1.77 billion yuan in 2018, 2019, 2020 and the first half of 2021, respectively.