Eventec (越凡创新), a delivery robot startup, has raised tens of millions of yuan from a Series B financing round, led by Tiantu Capital and with participation from an unidentified local industrial venture fund and existing shareholder Cheetah Mobile.
Proceeds from this round will be spent on technological product optimization and a marketing blitz.
Since its inception in 2017, Sichuan-based Eventec has developed a product line consisting of delivery robots catering to last-mile delivery and mobile retail scenarios.
According to askci.com, a market intelligence provider, the market of China’s intelligent robots in 2023 is expected to surpass 140 billion yuan, of which 51 billion is projected to come from service robots.
In China alone, last-mile delivery is a market segment demanding more than 2.5 million service robots, with the potential of covering 300 million mainstream consumers, askci.com said in a previous study.
In 2018, Eventec introduced what it called the country’s first fully autonomous smart retail robot, called FANBOT, which is capable of recommending the merchandise it contains to passers-by.
The release of FANBOT was followed in 2021 by another core product. SENDBOT, a flagship model of Eventec, is tasked with delivering orders door to door within an official building or shopping mall.
SENDBOT reportedly comes with a proprietary highly dynamic navigation system and an AIoT system that interacts with the building.
It can navigate the access control system, pass through turnstiles, and ride elevator on its own.
The droid can complete delivery tasks in a fully dynamic, highly dense and complex environment, thereby replacing a courier, Eventec says.
The company has data to back up its claims. According to business information it gathered, China’s last-mile delivery couriers total 4.5 million.
SF Express, one of the country’s express logistics giants, once published financial statements showing its labor costs in 2022 approached 100 billion yuan.
In the actual delivery scenario, couriers spend 40% of their time finding the drop-off spots within a 100m vertical space.
Which means that SF Express alone could slash up to 40 billion yuan a year in labor costs were it to replace human couriers with robots to complete indoor delivery jobs, Eventec explains.
To date, Eventec’s robot fleet has provided upwards of 40 million services, logging an aggregate delivery time of 4 million hours and covering a mileage of 2 million km.
Besides, the startup also partners with more than 30 property developers including China Resources, Longfor and Vanke, as well as 15 retail businesses. Its robots are shipped to over 50 cities worldwide and offered 35 million services.
The company, however, faces stiff competition in the sector, counting even its own backer Cheetah Mobile as a rival.