Chinese AI start-up SenseTime eyes STAR market IPO after $1.5bln fundraising-sources

Chinese AI start-up SenseTime
Chinese AI start-up SenseTime

Chinese start-up SenseTime is considering an initial public offering (IPO) on China’s tech-focused STAR market after its latest fundraising that will value the company at $10 billion, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

The artificial intelligence company, which Washington put on a trade blacklist in October last year, is expected to raise $1.5 billion from the funding round which is due to be completed soon, two of the people said.

SenseTime, which provides technology-based applications including facial recognition,video analyzing and autonomous driving, has been in talks with Chinese securities regulators for the Shanghai listing in recent weeks, one of the people said.

The plan for listing on China’s year-old STAR market for start-ups is still preliminary with size and timetable undecided, said the sources, who did not want to be named as the information is confidential.

Hong Kong-headquartered SenseTime declined to comment. The China Securities Regulatory Commission did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

One of the people said that SenseTime’s STAR listing process would take a while, and that there was no obvious valuation benchmark for investors as its main homegrown rival Megvii has not listed yet.

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