On Tuesday, Chinese commercial service robot maker Pudu Technology announced that it had raised 500 million yuan in its Series C2 round, making the combined proceeds from C1 and C2 1 billion yuan.
Pudu’s major investors include Meituan, Tencent, Shenzhen Investment Holdings, and Sequoia Capital China.
Founded in 2016, this Shenzhen-based company has R&D centers in Shenzhen and Chengdu. According to the company's website, it has sold robots in more than 50 countries and 500 cities, including restaurant chain Haidilao and several major hospitals in Shenzhen and Shanghai.
The company’s products include food delivery robots and multi-purpose robots featuring industrial delivery and disinfection.
Commercial delivery robots have been trending for the last several years, as the need to fulfill that “last-mile delivery” surges. Top players in this field, JD.com, and Meituan have already implemented robots in their logistic process.
Due to the energy and cost efficiency of delivery robots (per delivery cost can be reduced to 1.5 yuan from 7 yuan by using robots, according to JD’s driverless program engineer Zhang Chao), regulators are rolling out favorable policies.
In May, at an industry conference, Beijing regulators granted China’s first-ever permit for the use of commercial delivery robots to JD.com, Meituan, and Neolix, marking the monumental moment of robot vehicles going on public streets instead of geo-fenced areas. The three companies have been deploying robots in designated parts of the city’s Daxing district ever since.