China’s AI Start-Up Ling Technology Secures Strategic Investment From SenseTime

Chinese artificial intelligence start-up Ling Technology introduced the AI-powered early-education reading product Luka in September 2017.

Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Ling Technology has secured a series A round of financing from the country’s facial recognition technology developer SenseTime to raise its stake in the AI-powered K-12 education field, according to a statement released by one of  Ling Technology’s shareholder on January 1.

The new funding, which follows an RMB150 million (US$21.80 million) series Pre-A round of financing raised by the company in July 2018, will help speed up the commercialization of "AI plus education" products developed by Ling Technology, said NetPosa Technologies in the statement. NetPosa Technologies is a Chinese video surveillance management and video storage solutions provider that owns a 34.30% stake in Ling Technology.

The financial details of the series A round remain undisclosed. SenseTime did not immediately respond to China Money Network seeking comment.

"SenseTime has an edge in AI computer vision and deep learning, which can help Ling Technology build its strengths in image recognition and deep learning," said SenseTime to  Chinese technology news portal 36Kr, addressing the strategic investment. "Meanwhile, Ling Technology’s capabilities in the AI plus education industry can also power SenseTime to delve into AI applications in the education sector."

Founded in September 2016, Ling Technology primarily engages in the design, research and development, manufacturing, sale, and operation of a range of AI consumer products for consumer markets and home settings in China and internationally. The Beijing-based company has developed several products including an AI-based early-education reading product named Luka, smart self-care light Auri, and Jibo — a social robot that looks, listens, and learns in your home.

Proceeds from the new round will be used to explore the application of AI technologies in the K-12 education field for multiple learning environments. Specifically speaking, Ling Technology plans to further develop the consumer group and applications of its products and services, with a focus on AI education assistance in the enlightenment, listening, reading and speaking of Chinese and English languages, according to the NetPosa statement.

SenseTime announced the completion of a US$620 million series C+ funding round led by Fidelity International, Hopu Capital, Silver Lake and Tiger Global in May 2018.

 
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