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SoftBank leads $15M round for China’s industrial robot maker Youibot

China’s flourishing industrial robotics space has been picked by SoftBank. Youibot is a four-year-old startup known for making autonomous mobile robots for a range of scenarios. In its latest funding round led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, it has notched close to 100 million yuan ($15.47 million).

In December, SoftBank Ventures Asia led the financing round for another Chinese robotics startup called KeenOn, which focuses on delivery and service robots.

SoftBank, SoftBank leads $15M round for China’s industrial robot maker Youibot, Startup World Tech

Youibot- investors, funding, and foundation

BlueRun Ventures and SIG, previous investors of Youibot also participated in the round. The startup is based in Shenzhen. That’s where it went through SOSV’s HAX hardware accelerator program and secured three financing rounds during 2020 as businesses and investors embraced industrial automation to minimize human contact. To date, Youibot has raised more than 200 million yuan.

A group of PhDs from China’s prestigious Xi’an Jiaotong University Founded Youibot. It develops solutions for factory automation and logistics management, as well as inspection and maintenance for various industries. For example, its robots can navigate around a yard of buses, inspect every tire of the vehicles and provide a detailed report for maintenance, a feature that helped it rack up Michelin’s contract.

Other tributary businesses and future plans

The startup’s semiconductor business is also seeing high growth, with customers coming from several prominent front-end wafer fabs. They use the firm’s robots for chip packaging, testing, and wafer production. However, Youibot declined to disclose their names due to confidentiality.

Chinese clients that it named include CRRC Zhuzhou, a state-owned locomotive manufacturer; Huaneng Group, a state-owned electricity generation giant; Huawei and more. China forms 80% of Youibot’s total revenues currently, while overseas markets are rapidly catching up. The firm’s revenues tripled last year from 2020.

Youibot plans to spend the fresh proceeds on research and development in its mobile robots and proprietary software, team building, and market expansion.

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