While manufacturing and supply chain automation and autonomous vehicles get the most investor attention in North America and Europe, Asian markets are also receptive to service robots. Last week, Pudu Robotics announced that it had completed Series B+ fundraising of nearly $15 million, only a month after receiving Series B investment. The Shenzhen, China-based company has developed indoor delivery robots for restaurants, hospitals, and other venues.
Pudu Technology Inc., doing business as Pudu Robotics, was founded in 2016. It has more than 100 employees and has sold robots to more than 20 countries and regions around the world.
Pudu Robotics refines service robots
PuduBot is the company’s mobile robot using lidar and SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping), as well as visual positioning. The Mohism II six-core processor allows for more precise controls, as does thee new Caesar algorithm, said the company.
HolaBot, which was released last year, is Pudu’s dish-collecting robot for restaurants, with a waterproof cabin, multiple call modes, and contactless controls, A module for gesture recognition and voice control is available.
Pudu said BellaBot is its “first full-dimensional sensory delivery robot,” with “multi-modal interaction.” The multi-shelved robot includes removable trays, swappable batteries, and Intel RealSense D435 cameras for navigation and perception. It also has a haptic interface, cloud-based support, a screen with programmable facial expressions, and a total capacity of up to 40 kg (88 lb.).
In addition, Pudu has made its mobile robots available for deliveries and disinfection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investment two months in a row
The latest funding will be used to expand marketing for Pudu’s delivery robots, as well as its business in other application scenarios, said Zhang Tao, CEO of Pudu.
Sequoia Capital China led Pudu’s Series B+ round, with participation from existing shareholders Meituan, Everwin Investment, QC Capital, and Chengbohan Fund. This is Pudu Robotics’s second round of financing in just two months. On July 1, Meituan was the exclusive investor in the company’s Series B round of more than $15 million.
“Robots are a new form of labor and are also the focus of our continued attention,” stated Colin Guo, a partner at Sequoia Capital China. “Pudu has deep accumulation in the field of service robots. It started by providing delivery robots to the catering industry and has begun to expand to more diverse working scenarios. The demand of customers for this type of new labor is constantly growing, and we believe that service robots will soon become standard configuration in many industries.”
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