(Yicai Global) Nov. 27 -- Chinese artificial intelligence firm Aibee Beijing Intelligent Technology has closed a USD60 million funding round and snapped up the former head of an Alibaba research unit.
Red Star Macalline Group and Sequoia Capital China led the round, Aibee said in a statement today. Other investors included Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, Hecai Fund and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.
The firm, set up by the former head of research at search and artificial intelligence giant Baidu, has now raised USD100 million in just a year since its formation, the statement added. Aibee focuses on a range of AI technologies, including computer vision, speech recognition, natural language comprehension and big data analysis.
It is already making moves in the retail and tourism sectors and has partnered up with it latest investor Red Star in retail and Zhejiang Shenda Intelligent Technology in the travel industry. It has even penned a deal with GRG Banking Equipment to make its way into the financial sector.
Aibee has also recruited Zhu Shenghuo, former head of Alibaba's DAMO Academy, to take over the firm's machine learning business.
Alibaba, China's biggest cloud computing firm, set up the DAMO Academy late last year -- DAMO stands for discovery, adventure, momentum and outlook. The Hangzhou-based tech giant pledged to pump CNY100 billion (USD14.4 billion) into the research unit by the end of 2020 to develop machine learning for its retail, logistics and other businesses.
Zhu has a doctorate in computer science from the University of Rochester in New York, and has worked with the likes of NEC Laboratories America and Amazon. He also has several patents to his name and has published more than 120 academic papers on machine learning, machine vision, data mining and information retrieval.
Editor: James Boynton