Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Cloudwalk Receives 1.8 billion RMB in Financing
Chinese computer vision startup Cloudwalk receives funding
Since I follow the ChinAI newsletter by Jeffrey Ding these news reached me in regards to the new financing of one of the large computer visions companies in China. Jeffrey Ding translated a lot of Chinese articles into English. He is a researcher at the Future of Humanity Institute and a Ph.D. Student in International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Rhodes scholar. I would really recommend signing up to his newsletter as the information and perspectives he provides are invaluable. This time he translated an article by Wu Xin.
As such my information can be incorrect, however I will try to sum this up as well as possible.
There is a talk of the ‘new infrastructure’ era.
In this sense purely domestically (Chinese) funded enterprises can stand out.
The author talks of a ‘capital winter’ in 2019 with the Coronavirus.
Only a few companies are left and they represent the ‘trend breakers’.
4paradigm and Yitu Technology completed their rounds of financing and now Cloudwalk has completed a new round of financing.
With a number of fund with ties to the state there is a talk of the ‘AI National Team’.
As a side note it is worth to mention that this is a discourse, manner of speech, that have been seen around on other AI conferences (particularly in Europe that I know of — talking of AI as a team sport with competing nations).
According to the source said that this round of financing reached 1.8 billion RMB. Cloudwalk is now “worth” more than 25 billion RMB.
This is not far away from the market value of 28 billion RMB valuation of the “most valuable AI stock” Megvii.
Cloudwalk has many customers in the financial industry including large banks such as the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank.
According to the source nearly half of this market share is currently occupied by Cloudwalk.
The company is said to have a position in four areas:
- Smart finance (banking)
- Smart security
- Smart transportation (passenger logistics, airports, etc.)
- Smart commerce (pan-commerce, shopping centers, 4S stores, chain stores, education, parks, etc.), and it will gradually push into the retail industry.
The source mentions that Cloudwalk clearly attached the “national team” label to its flag from the beginning.
The company was incubated in the Chongqing Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Currently it is also the only AI unicorn that has been invited to formulate national-level standards, public security bureau standards, and industry standards in facial recognition. Cloudwalk also has a self-developed SoC chip.
There is a possible IPO. Yao Zhiqiang divulged that the annual compound growth rate of Cloudwalk is also around 300%.
- In the context of the “new infrastructure” proposed by the state, Cloudwalk has won several government-level projects in Guangzhou, Chongqing, and other places.
“Recently, the latest “digital infrastructure” cooperation between the Guangzhou Municipal Government and Cloudwalk has further promoted the “Walk Nansha with One Face 2.0 (一脸走南沙 2.0”) smart services in Nansha District, Guangzhou, positioning the project as a new smart city intelligent operation hub for human-machine collaboration platforms.”
It is possible (rumoured ) that Cloudwalk will be listed on the Sci-Tech innovation board (STAR Market).
This Star Market is a project of President Xi Jinping’s meant to encourage investment in domestic tech companies and make it easier for mainland investors to trade in these companies.
A great thank you to Jeffrey Ding for the translation, it is exciting to follow the development of artificial intelligence in China.