Robotics kit maker Makeblock has closed $44 million (approx. RMB 300 million) in Series C funding. The latest valuation for the Shenzhen-based company is approximately $367 million.
Makeblock raises a $30 million Series B in March of 2017 and has raised nearly $80 million total over seven funding rounds, according to Crunchbase. The latest funding round was led by CICC ALPHA along with Yuexiu Industrial Investment Fund, GX Capital and Everest Capital (LMFVC).
Makeblock will use the financing for R&D, marketing, and subsidiary company operations. It plans to launch new products this October. “We will introduce more products of a lower threshold to families and schools,” said Jasen Wang, Founder and CEO of Makeblock.
“Over the last year, we’ve experienced rapid growth of market share in Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and China, thanks to our 3-pronged strategy: software-hardware solution, systematic education solution, and global robotics competitions. Now we see a lot of momentum to expand our product portfolio and integrate the latest technology into our STEAM solutions. We are dedicated to offering better products and services to local users.”
Increasingly, China has been prioritizing science and tech research at home. The country views these fields as crucial drivers of the future economy. That’s good news for companies like Shenzhen-based Makeblock. But domestic financial support is still only a part of the company’s overall strategy. 70% of Makeblock’s sales in 2017 came from overseas with the US as its biggest market.
To date, Makeblock has become a multi-national company with 500 employees and subsidiary companies in America, the Netherlands, Japan and Hong Kong. It has worked with over 1,600 global channel partners; forged business in over 140 countries and regions and engagements with Microsoft and strategic partners such as Japan’s SoftBank C&S.
More than 20,000 schools worldwide work with Makeblock, including 7,000 middle schools in France and over half of the middle schools in Hong Kong. In Mexico, Makeblock has set a Guinness Record of world’s largest robotics class with the Education Department of Mexico Jalisco. In Antarctica, Makeblock has joined the Antarctica Education & Research Program (AERP) as the only selected robotic brand. In Africa, Makeblock was the official supplier to RobotsMali National Collaborative Robotics Education Center and collaborated with NOSI (the Operational Nucleus of the Information Society) to bridge STEAM education gap in Cape Verde.