Mar 27, 2019

Google-backed Mobvoi seeks unicorn status ahead of China IPO

Google-backed Mobvoi seeks unicorn status ahead of China IPO…

Back in 2010, Google pulled its search engine from China after hassles with Beijing, but that didn’t keep the company from finding other ways to take advantage of Asia’s largest economy.

Google ended up making Chinese tech company Mobvoi its first direct investment, and so far the bet is looking pretty good for the company.

Mobvoi, a smartwatch and artificial intelligence software startup, is expecting to raise somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million ahead of its upcoming IPO, which would give the company a valuation of approximately $1 billion.

If the company manages to attract that $100 million, the resultant $1 billion valuation would be a marked step up from a previous capital raise back in 2015 that was headed up by Google, when it left Mobvoi with a $300 million value.

For its IPO, Mobvoi said that it intends to be listed on a new tech board which would be part of China’s Shanghai exchange.

Mobvoi is being considered by China’s government to be one of over twelve companies to be listed on the new board, which would be dedicated to tech companies, perhaps hoping to mirror the success of the US-based Nasdaq exchange.

According to the company’s co-founder, Li Zhifei, Mobvoi plans to use the IPO capital to expand globally, including hitting the US market with tech including dashboard systems and smart rearview mirrors of cars.