The Shangtang Technology of Kuang Chong Yuan Universe encounters the curse of listing: Losing is always more than earning?

Focus on:

1. Shangtang is experiencing an endless loop of “completed tasks but not paid”. The problems of business fragmentation and increased management costs brought about by multi-business development are causing internal and external concerns.

2. The “academic” Shangtang Technology has always been interested in tuyere. In the latest IPO prospectus, it “crazyly rubbed” the 47-dimensional universe.

3. Compared with the surprising frequency of financing, SenseTime’s losses are equally shocking. In the past three years, it has been in an awkward situation of “losing more than earning”.

SenseTime will be launched soon. According to data from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shangtang launched its Hong Kong IPO yesterday with an issue price of HK$3.85-3.99 per share, and plans to raise up to HK$6 billion.

What’s interesting is that Shangtang is the latest company among the AI ​​Four Little Dragons to submit an IPO prospectus, but is the first company to launch a listing plan.

After the issue price was announced, opinions were divergent. But while arousing heated discussion, some new doubts also followed.

According to incomplete statistics, since its establishment in 2014, SenseTime has been “willing to chase every hot spot”. It has stepped on the air outlets of artificial intelligence and meta-universe. Its business scale and corporate valuation have continued to increase, but behind this However, the company’s business lines have become more and more complex, with ever-expanding operating costs and corporate profits, and after a large amount of funds have been invested in technology research and development, the hematopoietic ability transferred to the commercial level needs to be improved.

Shang Tang doesn’t understand business routines?

Since its establishment in 2014, SenseTime has completed 12 rounds of financing, with an overall valuation of US$13 billion.

As the entire AI industry ushered in a capital boom, SenseTime’s financing rhythm has entered a high-frequency stage. However, while the company is developing rapidly, the company’s revenue fundamentals are not ideal.

According to the prospectus, in 2018, 2019 and 2020, Shangtang’s revenue will be 1.85 billion yuan, 3.03 billion yuan, and 3.45 billion yuan, respectively. But the losses are equally worrying. In 2018, 2019, 2020 and as of June 30, 2021, SenseTime had net losses of 3.433 billion yuan, 4.968 billion yuan, 12.158 billion yuan and 3.713 billion yuan respectively, totaling 24.2 billion yuan.

The Shangtang Technology of Kuang Chong Yuan Universe encounters the curse of listing: Losing is always more than earning?

Even after adjustments, the company’s net loss remained at 150 million yuan, 1.155 billion yuan, 708 million yuan and 578 million yuan.

From the perspective of corporate spending, R&D investment is becoming an increasingly higher proportion of the company’s revenue.

According to the financial report data of Shangtang Technology, from 2018 to 2020 and the first half of 2021, its R&D expenditures were 849 million yuan, 1.916 billion yuan, 2.454 billion yuan and 1.772 billion yuan, accounting for 45.9%, 63.3%, and 1.772 billion of revenue respectively. 71.3%, 107.3%, the total R&D expenditure reached 6.99 billion yuan.

The re-development of the corporate style has enabled SenseTime to achieve a great breakthrough in technological leadership. However, in the short term, Shangtang’s revenue growth has not brought significant returns.

“Shangtang Technology reveals a kind of’idealism’ peculiar to academics. The infinite research in technology has brought about the progress of products. There is no doubt about the strength at the technical level. But the capital market is far less pure than the academic field. Harmony and ideals,” some insiders commented.

It is worth mentioning that as of the end of 2018, the end of 2019, the end of 2020 and June 30, 2021, the balance of SenseTime’s accounts receivable was 1.332 billion yuan, 2.625 billion yuan, 3.748 billion yuan and 3.926 billion yuan, year by year. Increase. The accrued bad debts are also increasing, and since 2018 they have been 102 million yuan, 211 million yuan, 610 million yuan and 785 million yuan respectively.

In other words, SenseTime, which is relatively advanced in technology, is encountering the embarrassing situation of “completed tasks but not paid”.

Diversified “crisis” and R&D “dilemma”

In fact, because AI technology is a general-purpose technology, it often needs to be integrated into other technologies or scenarios while solving problems, and its service-oriented attributes are relatively heavy. The direct result of this is that AI needs to be adjusted more in accordance with the needs of Party A, and the characteristics of personalized and differentiated services are obvious, making it difficult to achieve large-scale replication of products and technologies.

In fact, in order to solve the problem of large-scale application and deployment of AI technology, SenseTime has also made multiple moves.

On the one hand, it frequently expands its business to improve the coverage of the company’s scenarios and technical capabilities. As the company with the most abundant business units among the four dragons, according to the prospectus, SenseTime’s business has covered more than ten fields such as smart business, smart life, and smart city.

However, after the continuous multiple scenarios, the problems of business fragmentation and management cost increase brought by the development of multiple services have become prominent. At the same time, its investment of 5.6 billion yuan for the expansion of general artificial intelligence infrastructure and related fields not only faces difficulties in the research and development of underlying technologies and weak chip autonomy, but also creates new revenues for the company. Squeeze.

Some people in the industry bluntly stated to Sina Technology, “If SenseTime fails to generate enough revenue, it may continue to suffer major losses in the future, and may not be able to achieve or maintain profitability.”

The Shangtang Technology of Kuang Chong Yuan Universe encounters the curse of listing: Losing is always more than earning?

(With an investment of 4 billion, the building of SenseTime’s AI Supercomputing Center is shaped like a “chip”)

What is hot?

 Compared with “competitive products”, SenseTime, established in 2014, is currently the largest and largest among the “Four Vision Dragons”. However, while the staff size exceeds the other three companies, SenseTime’s loss scale is also far greater than the other three companies.

Relevant data shows that from 2018 to 2020, Yuncong Technology has a cumulative loss of nearly 2.9 billion, Yitu Technology has a cumulative loss of 5.1 billion, Megvii has a cumulative loss of nearly 14.3 billion, and SenseTime has a loss of 20.55 billion.

During the rush all the way, Shangtang Technology, which has a strong “academic” atmosphere, is also very interested in the tuyere.

At the beginning of its establishment in 2016, AI companies competed in the number of papers and participated in various technical competitions. With a large team of engineers, SenseTime continued to keep the company’s number of papers published on CVPR, ICCV and ECCV ranked high for a long time.

Since 2018, new types of infrastructure such as basic software and hardware have risen, and SenseTime’s R&D and promotion of large AIDC devices has started.

Entering 2021, car manufacturing began to become a hot spot in the science and technology circle, and SenseTime launched a new independent brand of smart car solutions this year-SenseAuto Jueying.

In the latest IPO prospectus, SenseTime has “crazed” a wave of meta-universe concepts, and meta-universe is mentioned 47 times in the prospectus.

While feeling the speed of SenseTime’s hot spots, the above-mentioned people in the industry also expressed concern about its long-term losses. “AI has reached the stage of commercialization, and profitability is becoming the key to measuring the development potential of enterprises. SenseTime has been expanding its boundaries. When will the money be made?”

As more and more AI companies begin to go public, business capabilities are becoming the key to measuring the company’s development potential. How to outperform competitors in terms of revenue rather than loss may be the AI ​​companies worth paying more attention to. key.

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