Rokid, a Chinese robotics startup, has secured US$100 million in a Series B extension round of funding, led by Singapore’s state-owned Temasek Holdings.
The company did not disclose the amount it raised, nor its market valuation after the latest fundraising, but tech news website TechCrunch put the number at US$100 million, citing a source familiar with the deal.
Credit Suisse, IDG Capital and CDIB Capital also participated in the funding.
The company’s Series B round, announced in November 2016, raised US$50 million, raising its market valuation to US$450 million.
Asked about the reason for doing a Series B extension round instead of a C round of funding, Rokid founder and chief executive Zhu Ming-ming told TechCrunch that it is because the company is still in its early stages.
“Rokid wants to focus on gathering more resources and bringing in strategic investors like Temasek Holdings before moving on to a Series C,” TechCrunch reported.
Founded in 2014, the Hangzhou-based startup specializes in robotics research and artificial intelligence development. Its product lineup includes smart speakers called Rokid Pebble and Alien, which are currently sold in China.
At the CES 2018 held in Las Vegas earlier this month, Rokid unveiled Rokid Glass, a pair of augmented-reality glasses for consumer use, and an open-source platform called Rokid Full Stack Open Platform.
Teaming up with Aliyun, Alibaba’s cloud computing subsidiary, the open platform offers third-party developers free access to Rokid’s voice assistant resources. It has been launched in China and will roll out in the United States soon, according to TechCrunch.
Rokid believes the open platform would help the company establish a foothold in the US market.
Reynold Wu, Rokid’s director of product management, is quite optimistic about Rokid Glass.
“I think we are the only product that is really consumer-centric in not only design and weight but also energy use,” Wu told TechCrunch.
“A lot of players design for the enterprise market first and then try consumer opportunities. But we have developed consumer products over the past three years. All of them have entered the market successfully and we have users because of that, so we have confidence in our consumer products,” he said.
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