Alibaba backed Chinese AI company, Megvii Technology Ltd, filed to conduct an IPO aiming for proceeds of at least $500 million, as the city faces its decades’ first recession as well as political unrest.
Megvii is widely known for its facial recognition platform Face++ and has the possibility to raise $1 billion it in an initial public offering where a share sale can be expected in the fourth quarter of the year.
Due to the recession, the companies are postponing or slowing down its listing plans, with nearly three months of anti-government protests and as the share price index benchmark Hang Seng fell to seven-month lows this month.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China’s biggest e-commerce firm had delayed it’s up to $15 billion Hong Kong listing. While Megvii went ahead with its IPO plans as it has little business in Hong Kong.
Facial recognition is a key part of China’s drive to become a world leader in AI technology by 2030, which benefits both companies as they spread the technology across all cities in China. The Chinese government is also one of the companies biggest key customers.
This has also helped Megvii see really fast growth in its revenue. Megvii had more than 350% increase in revenue in 2018, which is 1.42 billion yuan ($199.7 million). In the first six months of 2019, Megvii raked in 948.9 million yuan.