Megvii plans $1bn biometric IPO
27 August 2019 16:12 GMT

Chinese AI firm Megvii Technology, backed by Alibaba, plans to raise as much as $1 billion in the initial public offering.

Megvii makes the Face++ system and is one of the country's best known artificial intelligence (AI) companies.

Earlier this year, Megvii completed a $750 million funding round, reportedly putting its valuation north of $4 billion. Its closest rival, Sensetime, has a valuation at over $4.5 billion.

The company hit 1.42 billion yuan ($199.7 million) in revenue in 2018, an increase of more than 350%. In the first six months of 2019, Megvii raked in 948.9 million yuan.

However, losses have continued to widen. Megvii made a loss of 3.35 billion yuan in 2018, compared to 758.8 million in 2017. In the first six months of this year alone, the company lost 5.2 billion yuan — more than the amount it lost throughout 2018. Megvii attributed this to continued investment in research and development.