Hybrid robot player Sage-Modi closes pre-Series A at tens of mlns of yuan

The firm can meet customized client demands by swiftly removing the right modules from this pool and integrating them in the manner of playing with Lego bricks.

Sage-Modi (飒智智能), a Shanghai-based hybrid robot maker, today announced the completion of a pre-Series A round of financing worth tens of millions of yuan, led by Shenzhen Capital Group, with participation by existing shareholder Jolmo.

The money raised will be used to continue development of core technologies of hybrid robotics, or mobile manipulator, as well as expand overseas market and construct an ecosystem.

Compared to traditional manufacturing, industries like daily chemical and textile are relatively more discrete, with a wider range of categories, smaller volume of production, and complex procedures.

These also tend to be labor-intensive, putting higher requirements on factories to manufacture flexibly, reduce costs and enhance efficiency.

Traditional robots affixed to a certain place and programmed to complete single tasks face severe limitations in their scope of function.

Founded in 2018 in Shanghai, Sage-Modi started out by offering so-called multi-purpose mobile manipulators tailored to the discrete manufacturing sector.

“We believe future robots will behave like man, capable of moving and operating. They free man from certain roles while also effecting changes in modes of production and productivity,” said Zhang Jianzheng, founder and CEO of Sage-Modi.

As such, the startup has developed several hybrid robots featuring myriad capacities including self-navigation, material transferring and operating. They pick their way across factories floors and around workstations, handling material, sorting items, assembling parts and fetching and retrieving SKUs, among other intricate tasks.

Compared to traditional automation equipment, it executes commands with a higher degree of precision and agility.

Another merit of Sage-Modi’s technologies lies in a modular design philosophy, which runs through the firm’s software and hardware innovations. It builds a resource pool based on standardized, reusable modules.

The firm can meet customized client demands by swiftly removing the right modules from this pool and integrating them in the manner of playing with Lego bricks.

This way, the company also shortens the time and costs needed to supply customers with more compatible and cost-effective products.

Sage-Modi has deployed its robots to industries including EV and auto parts, new energy, electronic semiconductor, biomedicine and aerospace. Over the past few years, it has served well-known clients such as Johnson & Johnson and Luxshare, securing orders from home and abroad. The sums of the deals signed in the past two years increased sevenfold.

“Under the Made in China 2025 strategy, new types of flexible manufacturing equipment based on intelligent mobile hybrid robots will be the infrastructure of future smart factories,” said Dr. Ai Hua, director of investment at Shenzhen Capital Group.

“Sage-Modi has rich experience in application and a solid footing in core technologies,” said Ren Wujun, a partner at Jolmo. “Jolmo bets on the long-term growth of Sage-Modi. We believe it will an indispensable player in what will be a market worth over 100 billion yuan (US$13.95 billion).”

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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