Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s global parcel tracking platform Cainiao Network and SB China Venture Capital (SBCVC) have led a RMB200 million (US$29 million) series B round in Flahshold, a Shanghai-based logistic robotics company.
Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, has led a RMB100 million (US$14 million) series A+ round in Geek+, a Beijing-based logistics robot developer whose technology, similar Amazon’s Kiva robot, is designed to improve automation at warehouses.
Evolution Media China, an investment firm founded by U.S.-based Evolution Media Partners, and Chinese investment firm Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd. have led a RMB200 million (US$29 million) series B round in a Shenzhen-based Makeblock, an educational programmable electronic robot kit building start-up.
CloudMinds Inc., a Chinese start-up focused on the development of cloud intelligence-based applications backed by SoftBank Group Corp., aims to create a cloud intelligence ecosystem that combines the cloud, networks and terminals, it said today.
Over 19,000 domestically made robots were sold during the first half of 2016, up 70.8% year-on-year. Aggregate sales totaled RMB2.6 billion (US$384 million) during the period, up 40% year-on-year, according to data released by China Robot Industry Alliance.
iFlyTek Co., Ltd., a Shenzhen-listed Chinese software firm, has led a US$100 million investment in home service robot start-up ROOBO, while the two companies have also reached a strategic partnership, according to Chinese media reports.
China wants to sell a total of 100,000 domestically produced industrial robots every year and leap into the Top 10 of the world’s most intensively automated nations by 2020, says a Chinese official.
CloudMinds, a cloud robotics start-up founded by the former head of the research division of China Mobile, has raised US$31 million angel and seed financing from SoftBank Group International, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., Walden International and Keytone Ventures.
Yuri Milner, Russian entrepreneur, venture capitalist and founder of investment firm Digital Sky Technologies (DST), has made an undisclosed venture investment in Chinese start-up Horizon Robotics, according to Chinese media reports.
Alibaba Group Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group have agreed to each invest 14.5 billion Japanese Yen (US$120 million) in SoftBank Corp’s robotic subsidiary, according to a joint announcement. Upon completion of the deal, Alibaba and Foxconn will each hold 20% of SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corp, while parent SoftBank will own the other 60%. Alibaba and Foxconn say they plan to help bring SoftBank Robotics’ products to the global markets.