Chinese e-commerce and artificial intelligence companies are doubling down on the future to connect every device.
Internet of Things (IoT) startup Terminus Technologies has completed the first round of its Series C fundraising at total Rmb 2 billion ($283 million).
China Everbright Limited led the round and remains a controlling shareholder. E-commerce giant JD.com, voice recognition and AI company iFlytek, and real estate conglomerate Wanda Group’s investment arm all also participated.
Terminus will use proceeds to attract more talent and to develop its IoT business. With JD.com and iFlytek on board, Terminus said that it intends to expand its e-commerce applications and community management with technologies such as artificial intelligence and edge computing.
Terminus claims 8,400 projects in in China, together with five domestic research centers. It mainly provides IoT solutions, including the installation of sensors and data collection, for corporate or government clients. Sales have doubled every year since it was founded in 2015.
China is making a huge effort to construct a 5G network as it is the backbone of IoT development. China had built about 350,000 wireless 5G stations by August last year while the US had only completed 30,000.
5G stations help IoT systems. With a fully developed IoT system, every device can be linked to the internet and corporations will be able to gather more data and predict consumer behaviour more precisely. The total value of China's IoT market is expected to reach $264 billion next year, up from $154 billion in 2017.
IoT systems are an especial help in city management and the Chinese government has thrown its full support behind investment to make cities smarter. According to a Deloitte report, China ranked first for smart city development last year with 500 smart cities under development.
Prior to this, Terminus raised Rmb1.2 billion ($172.5 million) from China Everbright Limited, IDG Capital, and SenseTime in October last year.