SoftBank picks its bet in China’s burgeoning industrial robotics field. IwebootA four-year-old startup that makes autonomous mobile robots for a host of scenarios said it made nearly 100 million yuan ($ 15.47 million) in its latest financing round led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, the Seoul-based early stage arm of the global investment giant.
In December, SoftBank Ventures Asia led a funding round for another Chinese robotics startup called KeenOn, which focuses on delivery and service robots.
Previous investors in Youibot BlueRun Ventures and SIG also participated in the tour. The startup, headquartered in Shenzhen that passed SOSV’s HAX Hardware Acceleration Program, Securing three financing rounds During 2020 as companies and investors embrace industrial automation to reduce human contact. Youibot has raised more than 200 million yuan so far.
Founded by a group of PhD holders from the prestigious Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, Youibot develops solutions for factory automation, logistics management, as well as inspection and maintenance for various industries. For example, its robots can move around a bus yard, inspect every tire of vehicles and provide a detailed maintenance report, a feature that helped it secure a Michelin contract.
A company spokesperson told TechCrunch that “Youibot’s strongest suits are in the electronics and electric power patrol industry.”
The startup is also seeing significant growth in its semiconductor business, with customers coming from several notable front waffle bits, which use the company’s robots to package, test and produce chips. Youibot refused to reveal their names due to confidentiality.
Chinese customers named include CRRC Zhuzhou, a state-owned locomotive manufacturer, Huaneng Group, a state-owned power generation giant, Huawei, and others. China currently accounts for 80% of Youibot’s total revenue while overseas markets are fast catching up. The company’s revenue tripled last year from 2020.
Youibot plans to spend the new revenue on research and development in mobile robots, proprietary software, team building, and market expansion.