Ubtech raises 820 million in Series C funding round

Shenzhen-based AI and humanoid robotic company Ubtech has secured $820 million in Series C funding round, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting (in Chinese), setting a new financing record for the largest investment raised in a single round by an AI company. The new investment brings Ubtech’s valuation to approximately $5 billion.

The new funding was led by Tencent, with participation from a long list of investors including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Haier, Telstra, China Minsheng Bank, Juran Zhijia, CreditEase, and Green Pine Capital, with additional investment from CDH Investments who led Ubtech’s 100 million series B funding in 2016.

Ubtech founder and CEO Zhou Jian said the new round of funding has brought in invaluable investors and the investment will be dedicated to facilitating Ubtech’s future commercialization plans. Zhou said the investment will be used in three main areas including R&D, market expansion/branding, and recruitment.

The company said it will devote more resources to developing adult-sized humanoid robots and will focus particularly on the R&D of servo systems used in robotics, movement control algorithms for walking, and computer vision.

Founded in 2012, Ubtech has developed consumer humanoid robots, robots for business use and the STEM learning Jimu robot for children. Ubtech’s products now are available in more than 40 countries across Asia, North America, Europe, and Southeast Asia, with over 7,000 retail outlets around the worldwide. The startup surpassed $1 billion valuation mark, reaching unicorn status in 2016.

Ubtech has been working with a number of US companies including Amazon and Disney. The startup’s Lynx robot is powered by Amazon’s Alexa assistant and can be used to control smart home devices through Alexa.