This AI startup went viral after fooling airport facial recognition with printed masks. Here's the pitch deck it used to raise $73 million from Alibaba and Sequoia Capital.
- AI startup Kneron went viral in December 2019 after its researchers said they fooled airport facial recognition and payment kiosks with printed masks.
- The startup just raised $73 million from the likes of Alibaba, Qualcomm and early DeepMind and Siri backer Horizon Ventures.
- The firm designs so-called edge AI chips, which keep customer data off the cloud when performing tasks like voice or facial recognition. The industry is predicted to be worth $3.24 billion by 2025.
- We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck CEO Albert Liu used to convince some of the biggest investors in the world to get on board.
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Kneron, the AI startup working to make home devices more secure, has raised $73 million in a Series A fundraising round led by Horizon Ventures, an early backer of DeepMind and Siri.
The US-Taiwanese company gained fame in December 2019 after its researchers found they were easily able to fool facial recognition scanners on payment devices and at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam with printed masks.
The company designs edge AI chips that keep customer data off the cloud, using algorithms to process information on-device, improving security and efficiency when performing tasks like voice or facial recognition.
Edge AI is a term for on-device AI, and the technology is becoming increasingly popular. According to market research firm Million Insights, the edge AI industry is set to be worth $3.24 billion by 2025. And Apple acquired edge AI company Xnor.ai earlier in January.
As well as Horizon, backers of Kneron's Series A round include Alibaba's Entrepreneurs Fund, Sequoia Capital and Qualcomm.
Albert Liu, founder and CEO, said "We are excited to continue our journey with partners like Horizons Ventures who share our passion and dedication towards our mission to enable AI on any device [and] democratize AI."
Jonathan Tam, an investor with Horizon Ventures, said: "We are excited to see Kneron's AI software and hardware solutions integrating into partner products that are shipping worldwide."
He added: "We expect to see a surge in demand for on-device AI compute going forward, and Kneron is perfectly positioned to equip these devices with highly efficient AI capabilities without sacrificing power."
Check out the pitch deck Kneron used to bring on investors below:
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