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Chinese AI unicorn 4Paradigm adds fresh capital and new investors

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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4Paradigm has been recognized as the top machine learning platform in China for several years in a row.

Beijing-based artificial intelligence startup 4Paradigm has closed its Series D round, raising USD 700 million from investors led by Boyu Capital, Primavera Capital, and Hopu Fund, 36Kr reported on Friday.

Government-backed investors including the State Manufacturing Transformation Fund, China Reform Holdings Corporation, and China Jianyin Investment, have joined as strategic partners in this round. The firm has also attracted institutional investors such as Sequoia Capital China, Goldman Sachs, and FountainVest Partners.

The startup, which was founded in 2014 by Dai Wenyuan, an expert in machine learning and senior scientist for Baidu’s marketing platform Fengchao, closed its RMB 1 billion (USD 150 million) Series C round in 2018, reaching a valuation of USD 1.2 billion.

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4Paradigm plans to use the new funds to extend its business to key industries, build up an ecosystem for enterprise-facing business, and to nurture AI talents. The company provides marketing solutions to banks including the Big Four state-owned banks in China, which all injected capital in previous rounds, as well as sales prediction services for retailers. Among its customers are also the Chinese Academy of Railway Sciences, logistics firm DHL, fashion designer Zegna, and Budweiser China.

In 2019, the unicorn formed a joint venture with supermarket chain Yonghui to better understand and identify the widely differentiated consumer needs. It was recognized by market research firm IDC as the No. 1 among China’s machine learning platforms in 2018, 2019 and the second half of 2020 for its software, scope of industrial coverage, and solid customer base, ahead of vendors such as Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, and Huawei.

4Paradigm features AutoML, a full stack algorithm system including perceptive, cognitive, and decision-making algorithms. It released four products last year, including Sage AIOS, an enterprise-level AI operation system and Sage One, an AI computing power platform.

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