Agile Robots, a leading intelligent robotics company, has recently announced the completion of a Series C financing with a total investment of US$220 million. The financing exercise is led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2*, followed by financial investors including but not limited to Chimera Investments under Abu Dhabi Royal Group, GL Ventures, Sequoia China and Linear Capital (in alphabetical order), and strategic investors including Xiaomi Group, Foxconn Industrial Internet (“FII”), and Midas. The proceedings from this financing exercise will be mainly used for the company’s product development, mass production and global sales business expansion.
It is reported that Agile Robots managed to raise a total financing amount of over US$130 million in 2020 as the company with highest total financing amount in intelligent robotics industry in 2020. Agile Robots is currently the only unicorn in the intelligent robotics field with a valuation exceeding US$1 billion globally. With the completion of this financing round, Agile Robots become the first intelligent robotics company invested by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in China.
Founded in 2018, with its headquartered both in Munich, Germany and Beijing, China, Agile Robots is a robotics software platform company with the leading hardware know-how in robotics. With German Aerospace Centre (“DLR”) as its technical backbone and the core concept of “artificial intelligence empowerment”, the company is committed to promoting the deep combination and innovation of artificial intelligence and robotics and expanding the application of robotics in more fields. DLR is not only the first institute to send intelligent robots into space and perform complex tasks such as human-robot collaboration, but also the first in the world to propose and develop successful force-controlled robots that adopted by industries.
Agile Robots independently developed and launched software and hardware products such as its operating system AgileCore for the coordination of robots and accessories such as end effectors from different manufactures, its smart force-controlled robot DIANA, its medical robots, humanoid dexterous five-finger hands, and its flexible intelligent platform (FIP). With its unique hardware and software R&D capabilities, Agile Robots has launched its highly disruptive “robotic worker” that serves as smart assistant to all kinds of workers and professionals from different fields to take over mundane or dangerous tasks. Therewith Agile Robots opens new “blue ocean markets” for intelligent robot applications. Currently, the company has implemented its robots for production in multiple industrial scenarios. Agile Robots’ products have been successfully put into mass production, achieved large-scale applications in medical, industrial (consumer electronics, automotive, jewelry and other precision assembly and manufacturing scenarios), agricultural, education and service fields.
Agile Robots is expanding the market globally. In particular for the Chinese Market, it has completed the strategic layout in multiple regions. Besides, the company has reached comprehensive strategic cooperation with Chinese orthopedic surgery robot listed company, top neurosurgery robot company, multiple Chinese top-tier general and specialist hospitals and several other world leading enterprises (such as international consumer electronics production giant, international top telecom service provider and world leading electronic equipment manufacturer etc.). With the completion of its product commercialization, Agile Robots seeks to remain strong growth in its sales.
Dr. Zhaopeng Chen, the founder of Agile Robots said: “With the unique technology by combining robotic OS and the world’s leading sensitive robots, Agile Robots is seeking for fundamental breakthrough in robotic area and realistically applying the next generation of robots into intelligent precision assembly area and medical treatment, which can only be accomplished by human beings right now. With the supports from our reputable investors and customers, we are confident to push the robotics into new era with all our partners.”
“As part of our ongoing commitment to China’s dynamic market and to help entrepreneurs drive a wave of innovation, we are delighted to partner with Dr. Zhaopeng Chen, Peter Meusel, and the Agile Robots team,” said Dr. Eric Chen, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Agile Robots connects artificial intelligence with advanced robotics technology to solve some of the most challenging industry problems and is the latest example of our continued support of China’s growing technology sector.”
Luke Li, Founding Partner of Hillhouse Group, said, “Hillhouse is a long-term investor in Agile Robots, having participated in several of its financing rounds, including the seed round. We were delighted to witness Dr. Zhaopeng Chen’s team achieve multiple breakthroughs in the field of robotics. Agile Robots has developed high-precision force-controlled robots with advanced collision detection and joint-torque control capabilities that can be rapidly deployed and adapted to a variety of application scenarios. These force-controlled robots have the potential to drive revolutionary innovations in industrial robotics applications. Hillhouse’s investment in Agile Robotics stands at the intersection of our longstanding interdisciplinary research in the robotics industry and our research and investment in advanced manufacturing, including in high-end precision equipment, smart robots, alternative energy and new materials. We look forward to Agile Robots’ continuous contribution to the efforts in upgrading the manufacturing sector.
Caroline Fu, partner of Sequoia China, said: “Despite the demand for robots is fast growing, traditional robots are limited in standard tasks. We are optimistic about Agile Robots’ potential market of general-purpose robots by integrating intelligent robots, force-sensing and robot vision. Their innovative technology can be applied widely in markets with large-scale and complex demand for robots, such as medical treatment, 3C and automotive manufacturing. We hope that Agile Robots will develop and apply more industry-leading innovative technologies in the near future to provide efficient, reliable and low-cost solutions for more complex scenarios.”
*As of the date of this press release, SoftBank Group Corp. has made capital contributions to allow investments by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (“SVF 2”) in certain portfolio companies. The information included herein is made for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy limited partnership interests in any fund, including SVF 2. SVF 2 has yet to have an external close, and any potential third-party investors shall receive additional information related to any SVF 2 investments prior to closing.