China, Russia put millions in startup to recognize face

The funding will give the startup a valuation of at least $1 billion
China, Russia put millions in startup to recognize face
31 October 12:04 2017 Print This Article

Megvii Inc., a Chinese developer of facial-recognition technology, has raised about $460 million from investors including billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial and one of China’s largest state-backed venture funds, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Beijing-based company, also known as Face++, has attracted several other investors including the Russia-China Investment Fund, a venture backed by sovereign wealth funds of the two nations, and SK Group, the person said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. The funding will give the startup a valuation of at least $1 billion and may be announced as soon as Tuesday, the person said.

Megvii provides face-scanning systems to companies including Lenovo Group Ltd. and Ant Financial, the payments company controlled by Ma. Facial recognition technology has attracted keen interest from government authorities in China who want to be able to detect crimes and threats to social stability before they take place.

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