Tiger sniffing: CV refers to Computer Vision, computer vision. In the CV field, Shang Tang, Yun Cong, Yi Tu, and Defiance have become four well-deserved head enterprises, and their struggles in financing and business have never been cut off. In 2018, the artificial intelligence industry has developed to the “decision period”. It seems that every company can see the upcoming “match point” and move forward with each other.
This article is reprinted from WeChat public account Netease Intelligence (ID: smartman163), text: Ding Guangsheng, the original title "four super and strong, one article to understand China CV unicorn pattern", the title map from visual China.
Through just two or three years of siege, China's CV (Computer Vision) industry has formed a pattern of “four super-strong”.
Shang Tang, Yun Cong, Yi Tu, and Despise are also called “Four Little Dragons”. The story between them has been around for a long time. The most talked about is the highly overlapping business competition and the rising between them. Financing record.
According to the 2018 Global Face Recognition Equipment Market Research Report, China is the largest consumer area for face recognition devices, accounting for 29.29% of the global total in 2017 and 44.59% in 2023. With the change of payment methods, security awareness Increased, security requirements have increased, the consumption of face recognition devices has increased significantly and potential needs are being tapped.
The huge development potential has attracted talents, funds and policies. The leaders who are in it start from CV but not only CV. They are constantly exploring the boundaries and imagination. The high financing record needs strong ground support.
Landing! For the 2018 artificial intelligence industry, it has entered a decisive period, and the opportunity will be even more embarrassing after the miss. Beyond the intense landing process, it is a fierce financing record & ldquo; Circumference.
Financing = record breaking
On the first day of the National Day holiday, the news of cloud completion of B+ round financing from technology once again brought back the financing competition of China's four major CV unicorns.
Up to now, Yunchuang has completed 4 rounds of financing and accumulated more than RMB 3.5 billion in development funds. It is said that after this round of financing, Yunqi will have a valuation of RMB 23 billion, which is regarded as a prelude to IPO.
China's four major CV unicorn financing history mapping / Netease Intelligence
However, compared with the cloud and the Etu, the financing amount of Shang Tang and contempt seems to be “radical”, and almost all of the newly announced financing is equal to breaking the record. After several rounds of competition, Shang Tang is temporarily leading.
For such a confusing financing trajectory, Tang Xiaoou, co-founder of Shangtang Technology, once responded, “We have so much money to do more great things. ”
To illustrate that financing is not due to lack of money, Tang Xiaoou confidently said that Shang Tang is the only AI company that achieved full profitability. “We achieved profitability in 2017, and revenue increased by 420% compared to 2016. It will also grow at a rate of 300%-400%. ”
In the face of a series of question marks from the outside world, Liu Gang, vice president of Shangtang Technology, also responded in an interview with Tiger Sniff. “Business soup is not a financing-driven company. There are many institutions vying to invest, but not anyone who wants to vote can Cast. ”
We have noticed that Shangtang Technology has set up an investment department in addition to its main platform strategy. According to public information, current investment projects include 51VR, Wolian Health, Suning Sports, and Shadow Technology.
In the second half of the year, the company also announced new financing progress in the second half of the year. In June and July of this year, it completed financing of 200 million US dollars and 100 million US dollars respectively. Defiance of technology is still moving this year, we wait and see.
Among the four, a little special is the cloud from science and technology, they hatched in the Chongqing Academy of Chinese Academy of Sciences, “pure domestic capital” became the opening words of their self-introduction, the founder Zhou Wei told Netease Intelligence, “We are the national team. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is our shareholder. It also has joint laboratories with the Ministry of Public Security, the Civil Aviation Administration and the four major banks. This is the advantage of the national team. ”
In March 2017, the National Development and Reform Commission determined that Yun Cong Technology and Baidu, Tencent, and Keda Xunfei will undertake the construction task of the national “artificial intelligence basic resource public service platform”. Today, the platform is officially released, technology platform cloud and application. The service cloud immediately landed.
When it comes to “funding record competition”, Yun Cong Technology tells NetEase Intelligence that “artificial intelligence can currently land on a limited number of tracks, which is essentially a manifestation of resources gathering in the CV field. The financing record competition does not reflect the intensification of competition. As far as the current performance is concerned, the competition between CV companies is not so intense. & rdquo; They believe that the various head companies are actually mining and consolidating their own advantageous industries.
“ The most important thing is the industry. ”
Ask what is most important in 2018? Despise technology and give a reply.
Zhang Fa'en, chief architect of the Innovation Workshop AI Engineering Institute, also mentioned in an interview with Netease Intelligence that by 2030, China's GDP will reach 38 trillion US dollars, of which 7 trillion US dollars will be driven by AI, and artificial intelligence will have a demarcation point after 2017. , ushered in the golden age of technology conversion to application, with solid technical capabilities, nowadays it must be quickly deployed.
As the match point approaches, companies throughout the AI industry chain are racing against time.
For Shang Tang, Yun Cong, Yi Tu, and contempt, they sprinted and consolidated the city. In the mobile application track that everyone is optimistic about, the business soup and contempt are even more important.
On the one hand, the total shipment of smartphones in China in 2017 was 449 million units, which has become the world's largest smartphone market. On the other hand, the homogenization of the smartphone market is serious and the growth is weak. It is an indisputable fact that it is urgent to change the law. In the background, AI is the next bet for mobile phone manufacturers.
Such a huge mobile phone market, with the words of Wu Wenxi, vice president of contempt technology, must squeeze out the soup. 60% of the world's cameras are used on mobile phones, and AI must enter this market.
Vision Technology's current mobile AI solutions include 2D/3D+ infrared face unlocking, face 3D reconstruction, body segmentation and depth of field estimation for 3D facial reconstruction for single and dual camera phones, deep learning based 3D facial reconstruction And expression simulation technology (3D Animoji), portrait background blur, and so on.
According to the latest information on the official website, customers who despise technology include OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, Nokia, glory, hammer and so on. “The mobile phone is the core focus of the personal IoT. We have already cooperated with almost all Android manufacturers including the domestic TOP5 mobile phone brand.” The relevant person in charge of contempt said.
Everyone should have heard, OPPO, vivo two mobile phone customers are ranked in the list of customers and despise customers, mobile phone manufacturers are not willing to risk betting on a supplier, for suppliers, this is almost a must The battle under.
At present, Shangtang provides technical solutions for OPPO, vivo, Xiaomi, Meizu, and Jiajia, including face unlocking, smart beauty, smart filters, background blur, and smart photo album solutions.
In terms of platform strategy, Shang Tang is also the most powerful one. In addition to working with mobile phone manufacturers, they also launched SenseAR Augmented Reality Rendering Engine and SenseAR Developer Platform. According to Shang Tang Technology, their AR technology is short. Video, camera, live broadcast and other software in the Asia-Pacific market share of 80%, small coffee show, Faceu, Panda live broadcast and other APP also use SenseAR technology.
They hope to create an ecology like Apple. Today's circle of friends includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Honda, UnionPay, Wanda, and Weibo.
In August of this year, Vision Technology also announced its own mobile-side 3D-aware full-stack solution, from algorithm, application development, device manufacturing to solution creation.
Coincidentally, Yun Cong Technology, which has been confining the bank and security field in the low-key, has launched its "3D structured light face recognition system" based on the Dragon II deep learning structured light algorithm and 3D structured light depth camera in February this year. It can use the structured light device to simultaneously acquire the color, infrared and depth pictures of the scene, and detect and analyze the faces in the scene to form a 3D face image technology.
At this point, the horn of the mobile AI solution breakout has been ringing, let's see the bullet fly for a while.
The railway stations in various places have successively launched & ldquo; brush face into the station”
Of course, the mobile side is just the tip of the iceberg of the CV track.
—— Shangtang Technology strives to enter more fields, its technology has been widely used in smart cities, finance, automotive, smart retail, smart phones, mobile Internet, robots, etc., and also published the first with East China Normal University This AI high school textbook, they proposed a 1+1+X strategy, 1 represents research and development, the second 1 represents technology industrialization, and X represents an enabling partner;
——Cloud Technology is the largest AI supplier in China's banking industry. In the security field, it has been launched in 29 provincial administrative regions. In the civil aviation field, 54 airports have been deployed. Today, Cloud has also released Integrated biometric platform 3.0, immersive risk control system and Internet of Things AI&mdash based on national AI basic resource platform; IoT;
—— Defiance Technology is currently focusing on the three major areas of public security and other security management such as urban management, mobile terminals, mobile phones and mobile phones, and security solutions in more than 100 cities, helping to crack over 5,000 cases. They proposed the 4+2+X technology development path and the 4 in 1 formula containing algorithms, software, hardware and data;
—— Etutech focuses on services such as security, finance, and people's livelihood. In March this year, they cooperated with Huawei to release an integrated face recognition solution for Safe City and Smart Park. On October 10th, again And Huawei launched a smart police cloud solution;
From the technology to NetEase Intelligence, Cloud said, “This year’s focus is to stabilize and expand its industry share.” It can be seen that the battle of the first echelon is still unclear, and the second echelon’s rookies are already eyeing, Li Kaifu’s Innovative saga, Lin Yuanqing's entrepreneurial Aibee, Marlon Technology, and Green Scorpio all have good strengths and are starting to charge based on the scenes they are best at. At the same time, it is undeniable that the resistance of traditional forces such as Haikang and Dahua has also put pressure on CV newcomers.
As Vision Technology CEO Inca said, “2018 will be a year of industry integration, and winning and losing will be clear by the end of this year. ”
Collectively rush to IPO?
Cloud Cong, which has just completed a new round of financing, is estimated to reach RMB 23 billion. Analysts pointed out that it is setting up a valuation and paving the way for IPO. Netease smartly verified and got a response from Yun Sui Technology: “We have been established since the establishment. It is set to be listed in the country, and all capital structures and corporate strategies also take this goal into consideration.
As early as March of this year, there was news that the cloud went from the technology to the listing on the trial, “fast track”, the so-called “fast track”, reported that the issuing department of the China Securities Regulatory Commission had given guidance to relevant brokers. Among the four industries, including the Internet, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, and eco-environmental protection, if there is a corporate customer of “Unicorn”, it immediately reports to the issuance department, and those who meet the relevant regulations can implement immediate report. You don't have to wait in line, you can finish it in two or three months.
The purely domestic “national team” background, unicorn, meets the Internet, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, eco-environmental protection, conforms to existing laws and regulations, and carries out IPO declaration under the current institutional framework. These conditions make the cloud From having access to the "Quick Track" tickets.
Such policy changes have changed the previous situation in which the A-share market was dominated by traditional industries, and the Internet and high-tech companies wanted to list in the A-share market. It also responded to the call to “leave good companies in the country”.
Although the threshold has changed, it has to be mentioned that it is still revenue-capable. It is understood that Yunsong Technology has realized revenue of RMB 200 million in 2016, and completed the order income of RMB 836 million in 2017 and realized profit. It is expected that in 2018 The income reached 1.5 billion yuan.
NetEase Intelligence speculated that the cloud should have an action soon, and become the first listed company among the four CV unicorns in China.
Looking at the beginning of the year, there will be a sneak technology that will be listed this year or in the first quarter of 2019. It is said that the investment bank has proposed an overseas listing plan for contempt, but the latter still hopes to land in A shares.
According to public information, the revenue of contempt in 2017 was 90 million US dollars and realized profit. It is expected to reach 265 million US dollars in 2018 and get more than 50 million US dollars. It is estimated that the revenue in 2019 will reach 500 million US dollars and realize 100 million US dollars. The above profit.
Defying technology recently responded to Netease Smart's “IPO is just doing the right thing at the right time. There is no clear time node”.
It is worth mentioning that in March this year, the State Council agreed and issued the CSRC's “Opinions on Piloting the Issuance of Stocks or Depositary Receipts for Innovative Enterprises”, pointing out that it belongs to the Internet, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, software. And high-tech industries and strategic emerging industries such as integrated circuits, high-end equipment manufacturing, biomedicine, etc., can reach a considerable scale of innovative enterprises, can return to A shares through CDR, and some unprofitable innovative enterprises can also IPO, which is for AI. For the beasts, it can be said that it is a major positive.
Another CV focus company, Shang Tang Technology, was the first AI unicorn to prepare for an IPO. On November 23, 2017, Reuters reported that Shang Tang Technology Tang Xiaoou said that the company plans to conduct an IPO and plans to set up the earliest 2018. US R&D Center.
In this regard, Shang Tang's reply from beginning to end is: there is a future listing plan, but there is no timetable.
However, some sources told NetEase Intelligence that Shang Tang has entered a silent period and may adopt a similar listing route with Wei Lai, but the authenticity of the news needs further confirmation.
For Shang Tang, the same unresolved question as the listing, as well as the $1 billion D round invested by the Softbank Vision Fund, has been rumored since the beginning of this year. At present, only one official has announced it. After that, Soup will jump to a valuation of $6 billion.
When will it be listed, the listing will not be popular, and it is currently unknown.
This is also a problem in front of the four CV unicorns.