Chinese AI Unicorn SenseTime Signs Strategic Investment Agreement with Qualcomm
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Beijing, China - SenseTime, China’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) unicorn, announces today that it has signed a strategic investment agreement with global communications giant Qualcomm Incorporated, which is pending closing. Last month, SenseTime and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced a collaboration for on-device AI solutions, which follows SenseTime’s July announcement that it had raised $410 million in its Series B round of funding, setting the then-record for the highest single round of financing in the global AI industry. Boosted by this collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies’ collaboration and pending investment from its Qualcomm parent, SenseTime’s proprietary AI algorithms will likely be deployed in even more smartphones and devices, while the “algorithm + chip” strategy behind the collaboration is set to redefine the next generation of intelligent terminal devices.

The explosive growth of intelligent terminals has driven the large-scale implementation of AI technology to new heights. While the performance quality of smart devices previously depended on the computing capabilities of chips, today’s smartphones, cameras, robots, the Internet of Things (IoT) products, and other devices require extremely powerful processing in order to meet the demands of real-time data. With the formidable shared vision of SenseTime and Qualcomm Technologies to drive an “algorithm + chip” strategy, the two parties are on track to redefine the intelligent terminal ecosystem and accelerate its development.

Quinn Li, VP and Global Head of Qualcomm Ventures said, “Qualcomm is investing great effort into researching ways to boost the development of on-device AI with 5G technologies by enhancing AI chip capabilities. Qualcomm’s investment will enable SenseTime to invest more in AI research and development. Given our shared vision and customers, our collaboration will offer customers more integrated solutions, reduce the cost of deploying AI technologies for intelligent device OEMs, shorten the R&D cycle, and therefore rapidly upgrade the entire terminal device industry.”

Dr. Xu Li, co-founder and CEO of SenseTime, said, “SenseTime is dedicated to developing cutting-edge AI technologies to connect upstream partners with the downstream market. With Qualcomm’s strategic investment and collaboration, SenseTime can bring AI technologies to more terminal devices and boost the development of the entire intelligent device ecosystem. We look forward to exploring more intelligent implementations with Qualcomm Technologies to offer partners a one-stop solution that covers the entire industry chain.”

During the Shang Dynasty 3,600 years ago, China led the world with its advanced agricultural and handicraft industries; SenseTime, whose name comes from the phonetic translation of Shang Dynasty and its emperor Tang, derives great inspiration from this period and seeks to unleash a similar era in computer vision and deep learning in the AI world that will also enable SenseTime to export its self-developed technologies internationally. SenseTime, with Qualcomm Technologies’ commercial collaboration, believes it will not only enable the implementation of the “algorithm + chip” strategy but jumpstart an evolution from “smartphone” to “intelligent phone”, and from the “connected world” to the “intelligent world”.