Baidu Ventures to invest in AI startup ‘Sandstar’


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(Last Updated On: September 17, 2019)

Baidu Ventures backs AI startup SandStar (previously known as YI Tunnel) raising a confidential investment in Series B funding round which was steered by Guopeng Capital and Mobai Capital.

This round will bring the company’s total funding to $25 million. In previous rounds, SandStar was backed by Baidu Ventures, Kinzon Capital and Fengshion Capital.

The new fund will be used to fasten the company’s global expansion plans.

SandStar was founded in 2017 and uses computer vision and AI-powered big data analysis to digitize offline data in retail scenes. Four product lines have been developed: AI vending machine, AI check-out machine, pure computer vision unmanned store and smart store analysis.

The company had claimed that its business had been launched in 11 countries and it has served over 20 Fortune 500 globally to help build the AI retail ecosystem. Now the team has 220 tech experts.

SandStar helps provide AI-powered analytics to digitize offline data and help retailers make intelligent decisions, which includes product selection, pricing, promotion strategy, etc.

Baidu recently said it would invest 1.44 billion yuan in Neusoft Holdings, an artificial intelligence firm, while possibly collaborating in sectors such as smart cities and healthcare.


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