AInnovation Raises Nearly US$60 million in Series B Financin
BEIJING, Dec. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Chinese AI solutions provider AInnovation recently announced the closing of Series B financing round of nearly 400 million yuan (approx. US$60 million), led by China Renaissance's Huaxing Growth Capital Fund, with participation from investors including CICC ALPHA, SAIF Partners and CreditEase. China Renaissance Alpha served as the exclusive financial advisor. Within less than two years since its inception, AInnovation has, in total, raised nearly 1 billion yuan (approx. US$150 million), and is regarded as a fast-growing future unicorn company.
Following this round of financing, AInnovation plans to further enhance the R&D for AI technologies and expand AI application scenarios. The company will provide more practical AI products and solutions for the manufacturing, retail and financial industries.
AInnovation is committed to becoming a flagship AI enabler for traditional industries as they transform their business through AI-enabling upgrades. Driven by a two-wheel business model that emphasizes "technology & products" and "industry scenarios" concurrently. AInnovation has rapidly developed a set of AI products that can be replicated at scale based on deep learning and computer vision technologies, which have received recognition from hundreds of customers, many of whom are leaders in their respective industries. In the report on the China computer vision applications market for the first half of 2019 released by IDC, AInnovation was a front-rank company. Furthermore, the company was honored with the Ram Charan Management Practice Award - Innovation and Entrepreneurship Practice Award by Harvard Business Review, and was listed in the 2019 Hurun China Future Unicorns for two consecutive quarters.
Today, with a team of almost 400 employees, AInnovation has operations in 10 major Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing. In 2019, AInnovation formed a manufacturing JV with CISDI - CISAI Tech, and established a finance subsidiary - SEC Tech, in a move to strengthen vertical integration and better serve customers through joint empowerment.
Hocking Xu, CEO and Co-Founder of AInnovation, said, "AInnovation has always adhered to the right value proposition and pursued rapid and healthy growth. We do not superficially show off our AI skills, but do everything with a focus on value, customers and applications. Through a combination of technologies, products, scenarios, engineering and business, we are committed to promoting the fusion of AI and traditional industry, exploring more application scenarios, and creating a profitable AI company that can bring value to customers and society. The AI+ traditional industry has a promising market. Looking forward to next year, we plan to beef up our internal R&D while seeking expansion into more markets, in a move to enhance our company's overall competitiveness and create greater value for customers, partners and investors."
Since 2013, China Renaissance Group has developed its private equity investment management business. The group now manages US$4.7 billion in assets. China Renaissance's Huaxing Growth Capital Fund, a flagship fund of China Renaissance, has invested in more than 90 companies. Michael Du, Head of Growth Capital Fund, said, "Following investment in the leading AI platform companies, we will gradually turn our focus to the application and implementation of AI in different industries. We are now focusing on the vertical sectors where there are broad market opportunities and relatively clear scenarios. The manufacturing sector, already beset by labor shortages, will provide a great opportunity for transformation in terms of digitalization and automation, in which, AI is expected to play an extremely important role. AInnovation is leading in R&D of fundamental AI technologies, while effectively combining and implementing AI technologies and scenarios. We believe in its management team's strategic layout and implementation capabilities and are optimistic about the prospects for future growth."
CICC ALPHA chairman Joseph Liang, said, "AI, which is expected to evolve into the infrastructure for the economy of the future, will become deeply integrated into traditional industries. We are very optimistic about its potential in China. AInnovation's team is leading in both technology and commercialization, in line with our expectation for a successful AI company. Following the Series A and A+ financing rounds led by CICC ALPHA, we, together with AInnovation's management team, have witnessed the company's higher-than-expectation growth in technology, product and commercialization. We are very pleased to continue to support its Series B financing round. We believe that AInnovation will achieve even better results in the future, becoming a model company in the AI industry."
Chihua Jiang, Partner of SAIF Partners, said, "The commercialization of AI and innovative applications based on AI will lead and accelerate the replacement of old growth drivers with new ones, as well as provide improvements in efficiency across China's manufacturing, retail and finance sectors, resulting in huge market opportunities over the next 5-10 years. AInnovation is a benchmark company and SAIF Partners are willing to help such an innovative company with proprietary cutting-edge technologies and strong abilities in commercialization to become better, and in the meantime contribute more to the shift in driving forces for development."
Dr. Dennis Cong, Managing Partner at CreditEase FinTech Investment Fund (CEFIF), said, "We are delighted to establish a relationship with AInnovation and its excellent AI team. CEFIF is willing to be a part of and support the growth of high-quality innovation projects while actively exploring high-quality potential assets. It is the right time to harness AI to empower business. With a clear strategic portfolio and obvious technical advantages backed by excellent partners, AInnovation has huge growth potential. Especially in the traditional manufacturing industry which still has a low level of AI applications, it is an immense market just waiting to be tapped, and, as a result, we are very optimistic about the future of AInnovation."
Xiang Zhou, Managing Director of China Renaissance, said, "As the exclusive financial advisor to AInnovation, we are glad to witness the great progress that the company has made in technologies, products and commercialization since its Series A financing round, making significant contributions to the fusion of AI technology and industrial scenarios while receiving high recognition from the capital market. We look forward to the even greater success that AInnovation can achieve in harnessing AI to empower industry upgrades in the future, as we move ahead with the company shoulder to shoulder."
Founded in March 2018, AInnovation is the AI subsidiary of Sinovation Ventures. With the mission of "AI Empowering Business", AInnovation is committed to providing companies with AI-enabled products and business solutions powered by cutting-edge AI technologies, which empower corporate customers and partners to improve their business efficiency and value as well as accelerate their digital transformation.
Driven by a two-wheel model: "technology & products" and "industrial scenarios.", AInnovation provides total AI solutions for the manufacturing, retail and finance sectors. The company's customers include CISDI, Zongshen, Gree, Baowu Steel, Changan Automobile, CTCE Group, Yee Tung Group, Mars, Nestle, Carlsberg, Yonghui, Swellfun, Wyeth, Postal Savings Bank of China, China Everbright Bank, PICC, CPIC and Taikang, among other leaders across a wide spectrum of industries.
Since its inception, the company has grown rapidly and raised nearly 1 billion yuan from a combination of angel investment and the Series A/A+ and B financing rounds. Based in Beijing, AInnovation has established a presence across China with operations in Guangzhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Ningbo, Hefei, Chengdu, Xi'an, Qingdao and Shanghai, and set up headquarters in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Yangtze River Delta region. The company has also formed a manufacturing JV with CISDI - CISAI Tech, and established a finance subsidiary - AInnovation AI, in a move to enhance its influence in the industry.