Industrial robot developers are finding favor with venture capitalists as manufacturers seek to up the proportion of robotic workers at their factories to automate workflow and lower costs. With China's aging population on the top of people's minds and as Beijing strives to boost smart manufacturing amid a tech race with Washington, this trend is likely to grow in importance for producers.
On Monday, Rokae, a Chinese lightweight robot startup, said on social media that it had raised 200 million yuan ($30 million) in its series C+ funding round led by Shenzhen Capital Group and Grand Flight Investment.
Proceeds will be used to strengthen its R&D capabilities, expand the application of its products and promote their commercialization, said Beijing-based Rokae. The firm added that the fresh capital will fuel its efforts to develop a new xCore control system which it said will power its robots to deliver smarter, more precise and more flexible capabilities.
Founded in 2014, Rokae focuses on developing robots that are used in precision machining, medical treatment, auto parts assembly and scientific research, with its clients including German rolling element bearings maker Schaeffler and Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi.
Rokae is building an industrial complex with an annual output of 10,000 robots in eastern China’s Shandong province, which is set to be put into use in October, according to the company, which has a research center in Beijing and branches in the cities of Suzhou and Shenzhen.
Rokae is among several robot developers that caught media attention for their funding efforts this year. Last month, Shenzhen-based PuduTech, which primarily sells its robots to hospitals, hotels, restaurants and office buildings for uses that include delivery, reception, disinfection and cleaning, raised 500 million yuan in its series C funding round. In January, Shanghai-based collaborative robot maker, whose products are mainly used in industries from car manufacturing to logistics, raised more than 300 million yuan in its series C funding round.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)