Shenzhen-based Soocas, a technology company focusing on personal digital products for health care, has completed a Series C funding round worth 200 million yuan (about US$30 million).
The financing round was led by Vision Knight Capital, with Kinzon Capital, Greenwoods Investment, Yunmu Capital and Cathay Capital among the other participants.
Founded in 2015, Soocas is backed by smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi (01810.HK). As one of Xiaomi’s home appliance portfolio startups, Soocas mainly develops personal oral and hair care technology appliances used in bathrooms, with flagship products including electric toothbrushes, hair dryers, and electric shavers.
According to a statement from Soocas’s founder Meng Fandi, the new funding will help Soocas expand its product portfolio to other kinds of personal healthcare appliances, with the company in a position to step up investment in product development and brand marketing.
Riding on growing demand for personal care accessories, Soocas sold over 2.5 million electric toothbrushes last year. The company claims the top spot among Chinese brands in the product segment with price above 100 yuan. It aims to take on multinational brands such as Philips, Meng added in the statement.
Meng said the personal care appliances industry is seeing a reshuffle, and that there will only be a handful of players left in the arena.
Taking the Chinese smartphone market as example, Meng pointed out that domestic brands such as Xiaomi have managed to drive off foreign brands in the China market. The logic that ‘Chinese brands will get the China market’ will also apply to the personal healthcare product market, he says.
“Compared with traditional brands such as Philips, Soocas’ market positioning, product design, and pricing can better cater to the young consumers in the market,” Meng said.
According to the statement, Soocas has achieved profitability since its launch, and has seen its margin increase over the years, “such that we have enough funds to brace for a tough fight in the field of personal care tech appliances.”
Meng added that the company’s other flagship product, a new electric shaver, will be launched in March 2019.
On its strength coming from the tie-up with Xiaomi, Meng said working in Xiaomi’s IoT ecosystem enables Soocas to have a large number of production orders to keep supply chain expenses down, while guaranteeing high-quality products.
Lei Jun, Xiaomi co-founder and CEO, previously stated that the combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT will be the core strategy of his company’s business in ten years.
With the investments in startups, the smartphone maker is expanding the product portfolio within its IoT ecosystem, ranging from smart TVs, rice cookers, fans, air purifiers, vacuum cleaners, to electric toothbrushes, which gives its portfolio companies access to a massive online and offline distribution network worldwide.
As of September last year, Xiaomi has sold a total of 132 million units of consumer devices connected in its IoT ecosystem. With a goal to allow users to fully embrace AI in daily life at home, the company expects that every smart device of Xiaomi will be connected with the company’s IoT platform in three to five years.
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