SenseTime Hires Bocom's Wong as Firm Nears $790 Million AI Fund

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese facial recognition startup SenseTime said it hired Esther Wong, a banker at Bocom International Holdings Ltd., to oversee its strategic investments.

Wong will join SenseTime as a managing director, June Jin, a spokeswoman for the company, said in response to Bloomberg queries Monday. The dealmaker, who was Bocom International’s Hong Kong-based head of equity capital markets, had worked at the Chinese-controlled investment bank since March 2015, according to her LinkedIn profile.

SenseTime is in the final stages of raising about 5 billion yuan ($790 million) for an investment fund focused on artificial intelligence companies in China, people with knowledge of the matter said. Wong’s duties will include helping manage the fund as well as overseeing mergers and acquisitions work for SenseTime, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The AI fund, which is backed by Chinese private equity firm CDH Investments, will be a domestic yuan-denominated fund, another person said. CDH is helping to find investors and agreed to raise about half of the funds being sought, the people said.

Fundraising efforts are still underway, and the final size of the fund could change, the people said. SenseTime declined to comment on details of the fund, while CDH didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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