Chinese Artificial Intelligence Startup Malong Technologies Raises $33 Million from Series B Round
SHENZHEN, China – NOVEMBER 10, 2017 – Malong Technologies today announced it raised $33 million in a Series B funding led by SBCVC. This is the first investment of the firm in a China-based artificial intelligence startup, building on a portfolio that features Alibaba, Taobao, Focus Media, GDS and BSTI.
Malong Technologies is the maker of ProductAI®, which provides state-of-the-art cloud services and embedded systems for visual product recognition based on artificial intelligence in the retail and manufacturing sectors. It plans to use the funding to expand into new markets outside China, where it has more than 200 enterprise customers.
“We’re honored that SBCVC has expressed its confidence in us,” said Dr. Dinglong Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer of Malong Technologies. “We look forward to their ongoing partnership in helping us stay ahead in AI, improve our customer offerings and develop new relationships with organizations in China and around the world.”
“In Malong Technologies, we see a world-class team with talent, vision and integrity,” said Dr. Alan Song, managing partner, SBCVC. “Malong serves as an enabler for businesses to embrace state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology, and this has huge potential. We are excited to invest in Malong’s quest to realize the promise of artificial intelligence for customers all over the world.”
Malong Technologies’ unique approach solves a serious drawback in today’s artificial intelligence industry, namely, the massive amount of labor required to annotate images for supervised deep learning. Malong has achieved a technical breakthrough in a methodology known as weakly supervised visual representation learning. This approach enables their models to learn directly from noisy data — giving the company magnitudes more data to train their models than what is possible with human-annotated data – providing a competitive edge on accuracy and efficiency.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of their technical approach, Malong Technologies participated in and won the inaugural WebVision challenge, sponsored by Google, ETH Zurich and Carnegie-Mellon University, at this summer’s Conference on Computer Vision and Product Recognition (CVPR), a weakly-supervised version of the ImageNet Challenge, outperforming over 100 AI teams worldwide by a large margin. The company has incorporated this approach into its offerings, including ProductAI. The product enables any business or developer to identify and classify products with market leading performance – which is particularly attractive today to the fashion, furniture, textiles, consumer products and retail industries, but applies to practically any field.
About Malong Technologies
Malong Technologies is an award-winning artificial intelligence company whose mission is to empower developers and businesses with the most accurate visual product recognition APIs and embedded systems available on the market. Malong was founded in 2014 by Matt Scott and Dr. Dinglong Huang. Together they bring decades of experience in machine learning and computer vision from Microsoft Research, Google, TripAdvisor, Tsinghua University and Oxford University’s famed VGG Lab. Along with winning the WebVision challenge at CVPR 2017, Malong is an honored graduate of the Microsoft Ventures Startup Accelerator and has earned other top-tier awards from Microsoft, Amazon, Google and NVIDIA. The company’s headquarters are in Shenzhen, China. To learn more, visit http://www.malong.com.
Established in 2000 in China, SBCVC is a leading venture capital and private equity firm that manages both USD and RMB funds. SBCVC investment focuses on high-tech, high growth companies in TMT, clean technology, healthcare, consumer/retail, and advanced manufacturing sectors; and we invest across all stages of companies. In addition to providing capital support, SBCVC helps its portfolio companies realize their strategic and commercial potential and has a proven track record supporting successful industry-leading companies. Some of SBCVC’s spotlight portfolio companies are Alibaba, Taobao, Focus Media, GDS, BSTI, Shenwu, Precise, Di’an, and Edan. To learn more, visit www.sbcvc.com .