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A surveillance camera, which is part of a facial recognition technology test in Germany. Photo: Steffi Loos/Getty Images

SenseTime, a Beijing-based developer of facial recognition technologies, is in talks to raise around $1 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund, per Bloomberg.

Why it's the BFD: It's already the world's most valuable AI startup, having raised money earlier this year at a $4.5 billion valuation. And this additional money would help further shift the balance of power from privacy to security, with all of the trade-offs that entails.

  • Also: AnyVision, an Israeli developer of body and facial recognition technologies, just raised $28 millionin Series A funding led by Bosch.

Bottom line: "[SenseTime] is developing a service code-named 'Viper' to parse data from thousands of live camera feeds -- a platform it expects will prove invaluable in mass surveillance." — Selina Wang & Lulu Yilun Chen, Bloomberg

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.