A telemedicine robot in Shanghai's Ruijin Hospital on Feb. 22. Photo: Caixin
Chinese indoor delivery robot startup PuduTech received two significant investments in less than two months, in a clear sign that investors are betting on a future in which robot-staffed hospitals, restaurants and hotels are commonplace.
The Shenzhen-based company, whose products have been used for meal and drug deliveries without direct human to human contact in some Chinese hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic, said on Wednesday that it has closed a nearly 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) series B+ funding round led by Sequoia Capital China.
Other investors include the company’s early financial backer Meituan Dianping, a Chinese lifestyle service and food delivery giant that invested more than 100 million yuan in PuduTech in early July. Meituan itself is also looking to a future of completely autonomous deliveries to reduce labor costs, with such services by robots or drones having already been piloted in some parts of China.
The capital raised from the fresh financing round will be used to explore new markets for its robots designed for restaurants and develop new scenarios where its products can be applied, according to PuduTech CEO Zhang Tao.
“Robots are a new type of labor and deserve our constant attention,” Guo Shanshan, a partner of Sequoia Capital China, said, expressing confidence in a trend in which a growing number of companies and organizations will use robots to take on jobs previously done by humans.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)