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The practical applications battle of China's four face recognition unicorns
Recently, AI Unicorn Company Face++ changed its role again and became a “strategic investor”.
On November 2nd, the chain convenience store "Good Neighbor" announced the completion of a new round of tens of millions of dollars in financing. The face recognition unicorn Face++ appeared in this round of investors and became an important strategic shareholder of Good Neighbor.
According to the data, after the digital transformation of the Good Neighbor, the cost reduction and efficiency increase is remarkable. According to Xin Xiao, the shareholder of Good Neighbor and the founder of XianLife, the financing of the Good Neighbor will continue to be used for the continuous investment and digital transformation of the AI equipment in the store.
Good Nerghbor demands for the strategy of digital stores is right for the "appetite" of Face++. This is also one of the important prerequisites for cooperation between the two sides.
As one of the four face recognition unicorns in China, it is the commercialization of “AI+” to despise the technology selection strategy and invest in Good Neighbor. In fact, it was first seen in September last year. At that time, Alibaba’s unmanned shop “Tao Cafe” provided visual technology solutions.
"It's hard to run business without intelligence in the future." Xiang Ao, V.P. of Face++, once said that offline stores are completely digital, and all information and interactions of "people-goods-fields" are completely structured into the cloud and will be the trend of future. Xiang Ao said that in 2018, Face++ is concerned about the complete digitization of offline stores.
In May of this year, XianLife and Face++ reached a strategic cooperation. According to public data, the cooperation between the two parties has reduced labor costs to one-tenth of the convenience store operation platform of the same scale.
Face++ actively deploying commercialization is also the epitome of the competition of commercialization of face recognition. Commercial law tells players that landing technology is the proof of value. Known as the four unicorns of face recognition, SenseTime, CloudWalk, Face++, and YITU entrepreneurs have gone from academic to commercial world in recent years, and compete in the fields of finance, security, medical care, and transportation, grab the market and prove their value.
From a technical point of view, the head players of face recognition are subtle. Although artificial intelligence is hot, nine tenths enterprises are still continuous loss. How to land, and how to use technology to achieve cost reduction efficiency is the real challenge on the road to realizing the value of the head players.
Previously, the four unicorns had completed several "financing competition". According to incomplete statistics, from 2017 to the present, in the field of face recognition, there have been 12 financing events in the four unicorn enterprises of SenseTime, CloudWalk, Face++ and YITU, with valuations exceeding 10 billion. More and more funds and resources are beginning to be concentrated in the hands of the four unicorns, and the head effect is prominent.
At present, the timetable for the commercial landing of artificial intelligence in various industries is not the same. The commercialization of finance and security seems to be the biggest, followed by transportation, retail and other fields. And the commercial landing of autopilot, AI chips, medical is still in the stage of exploration.
SenseTime, CloudWalk, Face++ and YITU have actively deployed in the two areas that are the most easy to reach and market in finance and security. In other areas of commercial landing, the preferences and pace of the four unicorns are not the same.
Face++: multi-domain coverage
Face++ was first established in the four unicorns. The core customers include Alibaba, Ant Financial, Huawei, Lenovo and other industry-level head enterprises. At the same time, according to the information, Face++ also serves the government departments of the Ministry of Public Security, the State Administration of Taxation, China CITIC Bank, China Merchants Bank, China Resources Group etc.