Tencent Holdings Ltd. has led a RMB1 billion (US$155 million) series A funding round in artificial intelligence-enabled health data mining start-up iCarbonX, according to the company’s founder quoted by Chinese media.
In January, Shanghai-listed cell and gene engineering firm Vcanbio Cell & Gene Engineering Corporation, Ltd. disclosed in a filing that it was investing RMB100 million (US$15 million) as part of the start-up’s funding round, then stated to be RMB700 million (US$106 million) at a valuation of RMB5 billion (US$760 million).
In the newly announced fundraising, the valuation of the six-month-old start-up has been increased to RMB6.5 billion (US$1 billion), making it one of the youngest tech unicorns, or start-ups valued at US$1 billion or more.
Established by the former chief executive of genome sequencing giant Beijing Genomic Institute (BGI) Wang Jun in October 2015, iCarbonX is hoping to establish a health-related big data platform.
It then plans to develop artificial intelligence to interpret and mine the data as well as to enable every individual to better manage their health and defeat diseases.
Wang disclosed also in the article that iCarbonX’s first commercial product will be in personalized cosmetics and skincare products.
Co-founders of iCarbonX include Boston Consulting Group ex-partner Dr. Chun Wu and BGI’s formal chief scientist Yingrui Li.