Agibot (智元新创技术), a general-purpose robot producer, has secured a fresh fundraiser for an undisclosed amount of money, roping in leading Chinese NEV maker BYD as a new shareholder.
According to Qichacha, a business data search service provider, the Shanghai-headquartered startup, added Wofo Ventures, Shenzhen Qiyu Investment, BYD and Bluerun Ventures to its shareholding structure.
Photo sourced from Chinese media reports
The new cash injection increased the company’s reported capital from 48.47 million yuan (US$6.65 million) to 50.97 million yuan.
Prior to the latest financing, Agibot had closed four rounds of funding since it was up and running on February 27 this year.
Media reported that it is one of the fastest companies to achieve the unicorn status, valued at more than US$1 billion.
BYD, the financier of advanced manufacturing
The presence of BYD among the four new backers of Agibot has been particularly noteworthy, as market watchers ponder what implications this will have for the young robotic developer.
According to data from Qichacha, BYD accounted for 3.7756% of the company’s equity.
Image credit: BYD
To date, BYD has made 63 equity financing transactions. Its pace of investment picked up in the past two years. In 2022, BYD poured money into 24 companies.
As of August 24, BYD has invested 13 times year to date.
If history is any guide, the EV giant’s equity financing focuses on advanced manufacturing, with five deals in the robotic domain, data shows.
BYD has been a financier of three robotics-related ventures, including UBTech (优必选), RoboSense (速腾聚创) and Agibot (智元机器人). UBTech and Agibot are both humanoid robot builders while RoboSense mainly manufacturers lidars for applications in industrial robots and autonomous driving.
China’s humanoid robotics has been a red-hot space of late, encouraging venture funds and swarms of new players to enter the fray.