(Bloomberg) — Black Sesame Technologies, a developer of artificial intelligence chips and systems for cars, is considering a Hong Kong initial public offering that could raise about $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
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The Xiaomi Corp.-backed firm is working with China International Capital Corp. and Huatai International on preparations for the share sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The IPO could take place as soon as the second half of this year, they people said.
The company could file a preliminary prospectus as early as the first quarter, one of the people said. Details such as the fundraising amount and bank lineup could still change, according to the people.
Representatives for CICC and Huatai declined to comment, while a representative for Black Sesame didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Black Sesame’s potential listing comes as China is pausing its massive investments aimed at building a chip industry to rival the US. Policymakers are searching for other ways to support homegrown chip firms. Chip giant Tsinghua Unigroup Co.’s new owners are exploring ways including IPOs for three of the firm’s subsidiaries to raise funds following its $9 billion bailout, Bloomberg News reported this week.
Founded in 2016, Shanghai-based Black Sesame focuses on AI technologies for image processing, perception algorithms and system-on-a-chip design, according to the website. The company raised more than $500 million in series C and C+ rounds last year, valuing it at nearly $2 billion. Xiaomi was among the leading investors in the latest fundraising.
–With assistance from Gao Yuan.
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