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    9984   JP3436100006

SOFTBANK GROUP CORP.

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SoftBank, Eldridge lead $235 mln funding in Israel's AnyVision

07/07/2021 | 06:31am EDT

July 7 (Reuters) - AnyVision, an artificial intelligence-based facial recognition startup, said on Wednesday SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Eldridge led its $235 million funding round, as AI surveillance finds more takers despite ethical concerns and debates around it.

The proceeds from the latest funding round, which also saw participation from existing investors, will be used to fund growth and adoption of AnyVision's offerings, the Israel-based startup said in a statement.

Its technology integrates with surveillance cameras and helps transform them into security systems, Chief Executive Officer Avi Golan said. It uses facial recognition to open guarded points for authorized people, its website showed.

"The visual recognition market is nascent but has large potential in the Western world...we believe AnyVision is uniquely placed to redefine physical environment analytics across numerous industries," said Anthony Doeh, partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers.

To increase its market reach, AnyVision said it has formed strategic partnerships with several key partners in the space including Honeywell International Inc, Schneider Electric SE and Nvidia Corp.

Some of its users include oil giant BP Plc, Los Angeles hospital Cedars-Sinai and Macy's Inc, among others.

The company faced significant challenges last year, including laying off half of its staff and cuts to research and sales due to shrinking clients' budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported in April, citing sources. https://reut.rs/3jXokDv

The layoffs and cuts were also brought on by investor Microsoft Corp divestiture in the company based on ethical concerns of its technology, the report added.

Golan, who was previously an operating partner at SoftBank Vision Fund - a venture capital fund of Japan's Softbank Group - before joining AnyVision last year, has held key roles at Google and Intuit, among others.

Amit Lubovsky, director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, will take a seat on Israel-based AnyVision's board as part of the transaction.

(Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Rashmi Aich)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
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SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. 1.82% 6661 End-of-day quote.-17.34%
WTI -0.92% 71.894 Delayed Quote.50.62%
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Financials
Sales 2022 6 040 B 54 906 M 54 906 M
Net income 2022 1 310 B 11 906 M 11 906 M
Net Debt 2022 14 983 B 136 B 136 B
P/E ratio 2022 9,15x
Yield 2022 0,66%
Capitalization 11 411 B 104 B 104 B
EV / Sales 2022 4,37x
EV / Sales 2023 4,14x
Nbr of Employees 58 786
Free-Float 69,3%
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SoftBank Group Corp. Technical Analysis Chart | 9984 | JP3436100006 | MarketScreener
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Number of Analysts 15
Last Close Price 6 661,00 JPY
Average target price 10 507,87 JPY
Spread / Average Target 57,8%
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Managers and Directors
Masayoshi Son Chairman & Executive President
Yoshimitsu Goto CFO, Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer
Raul Marcelo Claure Chief Operating Officer & Executive Vice President
Tim Mackey Chief Legal Officer & Group Compliance Officer
Masami Iijima Independent Outside Director
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