Artificial Intelligence Unicorn SenseTime Applies for Hong Kong IPO

China’s artificial intelligence unicorn SenseTime submitted an application to list on the HKEx on August 27, with China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC), Haitong International Securities Group Limited and HSBC as co-sponsors.

SenseTime, founded in 2014, has introduced a series of leading artificial intelligence technologies, including automatic driving, augmented reality, facial recognition, image recognition, object recognition, character recognition, medical image analysis and others.

According to its prospectus, SenseTime’s revenue in the first half of 2021 reached 1.652 billion yuan ($255 million), compared with 861 million yuan in the same period last year, up 91.87% year-on-year. The loss in the first half of the year was 3.713 billion yuan, compared with 5.333 billion yuan last year.

SenseTime plans to use 60% of the raised funds for improving the company’s research and development capabilities, 30% for business expansion and potential strategic investment and acquisition, and 10% for operation and general enterprise purposes.

SenseTime emphasizes the investment in research and development, citing that the company has built 23 AI supercomputing clusters, produced more than 22,000 AI models, and trained the world’s largest visual model. In terms of R&D expenses, the company’s investment in 2020 and the first half of 2021 was 2.45 billion and 1.77 billion yuan respectively.

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As of the first half of 2021, the number of customers of SenseTime’s Platform has exceeded 2,400, including 250 Fortune 500 companies and listed companies, and more than 30 automobile companies. The company’s technology is also used on more than 450 million smart phones and more than 200 mobile phone applications. Among them, five mobile phone applications have more than 500 million active users every month.