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Keenon gets $200 million in round D

Keenon is a Chinese server robot maker.  It recently announced that it received $200 million in Series D funding. This round was led by returning investor SoftBank. Furthermore, according to Keenon, this is the largest funding ever in the service robot sector. 

Keenon’s funding news comes just one day after rival PuduTech announced an RMB 500 million ($78 million) investment.

Details about Keenon

The Shanghai-based company was founded in 2010. Currently, it offers commercial service robots and intelligent delivery solutions for industries such as real estate, healthcare, and hospitality. The company started with a server robot in restaurants. However, it gradually expanded its application to hotels, karaoke lounges, hospitals, and other scenarios.

Keenon currently has more than 10,000 clients in over 60 countries located in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Highlights of the funding round

Other participants in the investment round included CICC ALPHA and Prosperity7 Ventures. Furthermore, a diversified growth fund of Aramco Ventures too. China Renaissance is the exclusive financial advisor for this financing. The company plans to use the proceeds to drive innovation through its in-house R&D. They want to do this to provide new, efficient, and cost-saving applications. The founder of the company Tony Li also added that they are aiming for scaling its current robot platform through the expansion in new markets. Moreover, identifying new prospects to promote growth and boost revenue.

Kentaro Matsui, managing director of SoftBank Group said in a statement, “We believe robotic solutions can have a profound impact across the services industry by assisting with repetitive, tedious workflows”

What does the investment trend in service robot sector signify?

The two deals of Keenon and PuduTech highlight rising investor attention to the robot delivery market. Therefore, this is an emerging sector ready for commercialization and on the rise thanks to the booming non-contact economy in the post-epidemic era. 

SoftBank Vision Fund which is a venture capital fund of Japan’s SoftBank Group conglomerate has stepped further into the robot delivery industry. Thus, betting on semi-humanoid robot Pepper and industrial robot maker Youibot.

The market for service robots, which Keenon and PuduTech are engaged in, is forecast to be worth RMB 30.3 billion by 2021. The segment will be worth RMB 60 billion by 2023, thanks to growth in visual guided robots and accompanying robots.

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