Humanoid robots maker, UBTech Robotics closed a USD 100 million Series B funding on Sunday. It was led by CDH Investments, and joined by CITIC Securities and its investment arm Goldstone Investment. After this round of financing, this startup is valued at USD one billion.
In earlier 2015, this Shenzhen-based company had raised USD 20 million from Qiming Venture Partners; UBTech was then valued at USD 200 million thereafter.
The latest funding will be used for R&D, including the establishment of R&D centers in Beijing and the United States, and for the development of new tutoring and entertainment products.
Founded in 2012, UBTech focuses on developing and then commercializing humanoid robots for consumers.
UBTech has launched two humanoid robots – the Alpha 1S and the Alpha 2. The Alpha 1S is priced at around USD 448 on Amazon. According to the introduction of Alpha 2 on Indiegogo, this robot is like a super assistant for both family life and work. Function wise, it is similar to an Amazon Echo. It tutors kids in foreign languages and dancing, it can read stories and emails, and it also reminds parents about weather and household work.
Did that crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo succeed? Yes, overwhelmingly. Alpha 2 raised almost USD 1.4 million, 13 times its initial funding target.
Alpha 1S became well known in China after UBTech was featured in the 2016 Chinese New Year Gala, an annual television variety show in China with a viewership of over 700 million people. In the 2016 gala, about 500 Alpha 1S robots danced with a famous singer.
（Top photo from http://www.ubtrobot.com）