Sequoia leads $60m funding in AI startup

Venture capitalists and private equity funds are investing in Aibee, a young startup founded by Baidu’s former head of deep learning.
Yuanqing Lin, founder and CEO of Aibee
Yuanqing Lin, founder and CEO of Aibee

Aibee Beijing Intelligent Technology, a Chinese technology startup that focuses on artificial intelligence, has raised $60 million. The Series A deal underscores just how eager venture capitalists and private equity funds are to pursue high-quality AI developers.

The 12-month-old startup said on Tuesday that the latest round of funding was led by Sequoia Capital and furniture retailer Red Star Macalline.

Other investors include Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group (the venture capital arm of computer maker Lenovo), China Renaissance K2 Ventures, Zhongli Fund Management, and C Ventures.

Founded only in November last year, Aibee is one of a handful of startups that have raised $10 million-plus of capital within a year of founding. Another example this year is Luckin Coffee, the coffee chain startup that raised $200 million only nine months after inception.

It is fair to say that investors have high hopes for Aibee since it is founded by Yuanqing Lin, former head of Baidu’s Deep Learning Institute. Lin’s departure from Baidu last year was described as a huge blow to the tech giant’s ambition to become a global AI developer.

Zhu Shenghuo, the former lead scientist with Alibaba’s Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook, has also joined Aibee to develop machine learning technologies.

These technology and research leaders are bringing their expertise in AI and machine learning into the consumer sector. This will help retailers apply new technologies in their everyday business.

Aibee offers technology solutions to help retailers improve operational efficiency. Some of the solutions include big data analysis, robotics application, speech recognition, and image identification.

Red Star Macalline, which operates 267 furniture malls in China, naturally hopes to reduce operational costs and improve its efficiency by applying Aibee’s technologies. “We hope to join hands with Aibee and lead the furniture retailing industry in terms of digitalization and intelligentization,” company CEO Che Jianxing said.

Aibee currently operates out of Beijing in China and Silicon Valley in the US, and has about 100 staff.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
Share our publication on social media
Share our publication on social media