Softbank Invests $15M in China Robot Maker Youibot
On May 7, Youibot, a mobile robot and solution provider, announced it received financing of RMB 100 million led by SoftBank Ventures Asia.
The Youibot which won SoftBank Ventures Asia's investment this time is a leading enterprise in China's industrial mobile robotics sector. Compared to the more concerns the research, development and production of the mobile robot itself, Youibot focuses on scenario empowerment and software service and supporting capacity from the perspective of customer's actual needs and top-level design of automation upgrading.
"It's just the first step of factory upgrading and transformation to realize unmanned operation via mobile robot, while what's more important is to deeply integrate mobile robot into business management via industrial service software, assisting in resource optimization and decision-making." The model of mobile robot + industrial service software has more value and service space and can better adapt to customer needs. This is the optimal form of development of mobile robot in future, said Youibot CEO Cody Zhang.
Youibot is among the mobile robot businesses which started earliest to lay out in software systems. Take YOUI TMS Smart Logistics System for manufacturing industry as an example. It can upgrade the physical flow of mobile robots between processes to data connection, has the ability to perform overall logistics independent scheduling according to enterprise information systems such as ERP, WMS, MES, and complete the full coverage of logistics data from the material preparation warehouse to the production line and then to the finished product warehouse.
Basing on the "bottom" to "end" scenario full cycle closed-loop solution, Youibot is rooted in the vertical segmentation of the precision manufacturing and energy industries, and has built deep business barriers with its technological advantages. "Only going deep into scenarios can bring outburst of innovation and sustained vitality," as always noted by Cody Zhang, in the three major fields of intelligent manufacturing, intelligent inspection, operation and maintenance and power, Youibot has always focused on the actual scenarios of customers, listened to and solved their real needs, and helped them achieve the goals of cost reduction, efficiency, flexible production and digital management.
Currently, Youibot has served big name brands including CRRC Zhuzhou, Huawei, Michelin, FASTRE, ASM, Huaneng Group, put into practice the solutions of smart upgrade in over 20 fields, and is maintaining a competitive advantage in the fragmented markets of the robotics such as power plant, semiconductor. In addition, Youibot has established a deep channel sales network with more than 60 countries such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Spain and Germany.
Youibot's rapid development has won recognition and support from SoftBank Ventures Asia. According to SoftBank Ventures Asia's partner Ding Haipeng, Youibot's complete closed-loop solution from hardware products to service software, its deep focus on the scenario and strong technical support, give it the ability to quickly occupy the market, seize every market opportunity and lead innovation and change in the increasingly fierce competition of mobile robotics.
Founded in 2000, SoftBank Ventures Asia is the global early-stage venture arm of SoftBank Group. The firm prefers to invest in TMT, including the Internet, artificial intelligence, semiconductor, software and consumer brands. As a bridge between enterprises and SoftBank Group, SoftBank Ventures Asia invests in start-ups with a strong potential on a global scale, helping them to closely integrate with the SoftBank ecosystem and achieve coordinated development. SoftBank Ventures Asia has invested in more than 250 companies in 10 countries and regions, with offices in Seoul, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Beijing, Singapore, and others.
In this funding round, Youibot obtained continuous investment from SIG and BlueRun. As pointed out by BlueRun's managing director Cao Wei, "Under the wave of new infrastructure, the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries are accelerating, and the application of pan-industrial automation is facing unprecedented market opportunities. As the leader of mobile robots, Youibot has gone deep into vertical scenarios to create a closed-loop service for customers. Its solutions have been put into practice in many fields such as manufacturing and energy. We look forward to witnessing the process of reform and development of the mobile robot enabling industry together with Youibot."
SIG partner Guo Lu said, "As a foundation for opening up future industry and automation of maintenance scenarios, mobile robots will have greater value and growth space in the business management process empowerment in the future. As a leader in the industry with rich experience in team management and solid business capabilities, Youibot has continuously deepened its application in various fields, and has entered a stage of rapid development. We have confidence in the development of Youibot and look forward to creating value for more customers."