ROV builder Deepinfar inks pre-IPO tutoring deal, ready for STAR market entry

The company was backed by a star-studded list of investors, including Shunwei Capital, Aplus Capital, Shengjing Technology, Primavera Capital and CICC.

Deepinfar (深之蓝), a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) manufacturer, has signed a pre-IPO tutoring agreement with CICC, in a bid to list on China’s STAR market, Chinese media reported today.

Media reported that the Tianjin-based company had inked the agreement on October 12.

Founded in 2013, Deepinfar specializes in the development, manufacturing and sale of underwater drones.

It now has two product lines. One covers the industry-grade category, which encompasses ROV, autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), underwater glider, and other accessories.

They are primarily applied in scenarios such as offshore oil drilling, offshore wind farm, scientific exploration, maritime inspection, maritime mapping, underwater security, rescue and salvaging, hydropower and aquaculture.

Deepinfar also has ventured into the consumer category. Its consumer-facing brand Sublue provides individual buyers with diver propulsion vehicle, underwater scooter, smart surfboard and so on.

To date, Deepinfar’s corporate-oriented product mix is supplied to various maritime authorities from China and beyond. The company has also joined forces with big corporations like PetroChina (中石油) and State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (国家核电).

It also struck an agreement of strategic partnership with research institutes like Chinese Academy of Sciences and National Ocean Technology Center.

Backed by big name investors

The company has shipped its consumer-grade goods to more than 70 countries overseas and once snagged the largest sums of investment among competitors on crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

The company was backed by a star-studded list of investors, including Shunwei Capital, Aplus Capital, Shengjing Technology, Primavera Capital and CICC.

It closed a Series B+ funding round worth 120 million yuan (US$16.4 million) in July 2020 and a follow-on pre-IPO round valued at 200 million yuan in November of the same year.

Following the funding, the company underwent a structural change from a limited liability firm into a stock corporation, a key step in advance of its application for an IPO on China’s capital market.

In May this year, Deepinfar announced the completion of an equity financing deal worth 180 million yuan and also secured a credit line of 370 million yuan.

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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, 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

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