How voice tech has advanced, and its impacts on business and humanity. When Siri was launched in 2012, the world was thrilled and disappointed. The fact that a virtual creation – little more than a soothing voice on a smartphone speaker – was capable of taking and acting on verbal commands, [...]
The funding will help Pudu Robotics grow its market share
Chinese indoor delivery robot company Pudu Robotics closed its Series B+ round of nearly $15 Million earlier this month, the company announced in a press release today.
The round was led by Sequoia Capital China. Participating investors include Pudu Robotics’ existing backers Chinese Ecommerce platform Meituan-Dianping, Hong Kong-based Everwin Investment, Chinese real-estate investment manager QC Capital, and Chinese investment management firm Chengbohan Fund.
The Series B+ round was closed on August 19 as an extension round to the company’s Series B which took place earlier this year.
The fresh funding will be utilized to expand the market for Pudu Robotics, enabling the company to scale its delivery robot business as well as other robot business verticals, CEO of Pudu Robotics Zhang Tao noted in the statement.
Partner at Sequoia Capital China Guo Shanshan noted in the statement that Pudu Robotics has a “deep accumulation” in the service robots industry. The company had started with delivery robots for the catering industry and has now expanded to different fields.
“Robots are a new form of labor and are also the focus of our continued attention,” he noted in the statement.
He added that “the demand of customers for this type of new labor is constantly growing, and we believe that service robots will soon become standard configuration in many industries.”
An intelligent robot delivery tech company, Pudu Robotics was established in 2016, and has reached over 20 countries across the world in terms of sales, the statement noted.
Some of its products include food delivery robots PuduBot and BellaBot, building delivery robot HoloBot, dish-return robot HolaBot, and multi-scene delivery robot GazeBot.
PuduBot is its first mass-produced robot, the statement noted, and has been used in various scenarios including dining spaces such as hotels, office building, and hospitals, with a customer base spread across over 200 cities.
The Series B+ round comes close on the heels of its Series B, and matches it in quantum of funds raised. The company had raised over $15 million exclusively from Meituan- Dianping in early July this year.
Tao noted in an earlier statement announcing the Series B, that the funding would be directed mainly towards product development, expansion of sales, scaling to overseas markets, and in exploring new use-case scenarios for Pudu Robotics’ technology.
The company had earlier raised an undisclosed amount of funds in a Series A round of funding that took place in June 2018. The funds were raised entirely from Chinese venture capital firm StarVC.
The delivery robots industry is in the early-application stage, and is expected to grow to $34 million by 2024 according to a study. However, COVID-19 has created a large market need for contactless delivery that can match the trend for on-demand consumption, and this may have an impact on the growth of the industry.
While North America is a leader in this sector, the Asia Pacific region is expected to grow significantly to become the second-largest robot delivery market by 2024. This is fueled by increasing awareness and the backing of Ecommerce giants such as Alibaba and Amazon, the study suggests.
Header image courtesy of Pudu Robotics