20. YITU Technology

Eyes everywhere

Founders: Leo Zhu (CEO), Lin Chenxi
Launched: 2012
Headquarters: Shanghai
$400 million
Valuation: N/A
Key technologies:
Machine learning
Finance, health care, public safety, retail

This seven-year-old Shanghai-based company is using artificial intelligence to build a safer and more intelligent world. Founder Leo Zhu earned his Ph.D. in statistics from UCLA and did his postdoctoral research at MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. When he launched YITU in 2012, the company got its start by helping local police analyze surveillance videos to help identify people and cars.

George Kavallines | CNBC

By 2018 the company's technology was being used in more than 20 provincial public security bureaus in over 300 cities. Today its AI technologies are utilized in industries such as public safety, health care, banking and retail.

In the banking space, it is enabling facial recognition and is expanding to help cities digitize data such as traffic patterns, energy supply information and infrastructure development. Now the company plans to move even further afield. In January YITU launched its first international office in Singapore so that it could serve Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and the Oceania regions.

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It is also making breakthroughs in health care. Last year it released what it claims is the world's first AI-based cancer-screening solution for lung and other cancers

The company has raised more than $400 million from investors, such as China Industrial Asset Management, ICBC International Holdings and Sequoia Capital. It's valued at $2 billion.

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