September 24, 2023


Unlimited Technology

AI Startup Aibee Becomes Unicorn With Fresh Funds From Xiaomi

(Bloomberg) — Aibee, a Chinese artificial intelligence startup, is getting fresh funding from smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp, which propels its valuation to more than $1 billion.

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The startup is also receiving new funds from China Merchants Capital Management Co., according to a press release posted on the company’s official WeChat account. The press release didn’t give details of the size of their investment.

Aibee was planning a funding round to raise about $100 million, Bloomberg News reported in September. The firm, whose backers include Sequoia Capital China and Lenovo Group Ltd., could seek an initial public offering after the fundraising, however no final decision has been made, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.

Aibee develops technologies such as speech recognition, computer vision, natural language processing and big data analysis, according to its website.

China Merchants Capital, the private equity arm of China Merchants Group and GLP Pte currently has over 300 billion yuan ($47 billion) in assets under management, according to Aibee’s press release.

Aibee is working with China Merchants Group’s shopping mall in Shekou, Shenzhen and China Merchants Bank to apply AI, the press release showed.

Aibee has partnerships with some of China’s main airports in Beijing and Shanghai, according to its website. The firm has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as in Seattle and Palo Alto, California.

Xiaomi has been seeking AI firms to invest in as the Chinese smartphone maker explores areas such as electric vehicles and the Internet of Things. The company invested in another Chinese AI chip startup, Black Sesame, last year.

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