Cornerstone Robotics, a Chinese surgical robot maker recently announced the completion of its Series B financing round, with 500 million yuan in proceeds from Meituan Longzhu, Meituan’s venture capital subsidiary, Lilly Asia Ventures, New World Development Group and others.
According to the company, the proceeds will mainly be used for product development, clinical trials, launch promotion, new product layout and platform building.
Founded in September 2019, the Shenzhen-based startup is committed to the development of innovative surgical robots and has completed a layout of soft tissue surgical robots and other specialty surgical robots. Cornerstone has completed the product development of a multi-port laparoscopic surgical robot and will soon enter the clinical trial stage.
In two years, Cornerstone has established R&D centers in Shenzhen, Hong Kong and the United States, and has a research team of hundreds of people.
With the technological advancements in the medical industry, the global medical robotics market is growing rapidly. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the global medical robotics market was $13.6 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $20.7 billion by 2021. Among them, surgical robotics is the largest segment, and according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the surgical robotics market is expected to reach $6.44 billion by 2021.
Surgical robots have vast demand and applications in China, given the huge population and poor doctor to patient ratio — according to the World Bank, there are 1.98 physicians per 1,000 people in China. As a result, the number of domestic robotics startups increased significantly since 2013. There were over 100 new medical robotics startups from 2013-2016 and over 40 companies publicly disclosed financing. Notable players in the field include StarkSec, SS Innovations, MagicNurse, HURWA, SinoVation, and Boholo, according to ITjuzi, industry database provider.