The application by Hikrobot (海康机器人), a Hangzhou-based computer vision and AMR specialist, to list on China’s Chi-Next market was accepted by Shenzhen Stock Exchange on March 7, marking one step closer toward realizing the firm’s IPO ambitions, financial media reported today.
From there, the exchange will screen all the IPO documents and determine if the applicant meets the eligibility requirements to file for a listing.
The robot company plans to raise 6 billion yuan (US$863 million) from the IPO, with Citic Securities acting as its sponsor.
cnrobopedia.com reported in mid-February that Citic Securities, a leading brokerage firm, had completed the mandatory pre-IPO tutoring to advise Hikrobot on its IPO — one final step before China’s securities regulators moves to scrutinize the filed paperwork.
According to the prospectus, Hikrobot, the robotic arm of AI and hardware titan Hikvision (海康威视, 002415.SH), specializes in computer vision and robotic products tailored to the global market, with application mainly in industrial IoT, intelligent logistics and smart manufacturing.
In the computer vision realm, Hikrobot has three product lines including 2D vision, smart ID and 3D vision, and supplies computer vision gadgets and algorithms to clients in 3C, new energy, automobile, pharmaceutical, semiconductor and logistics industries.
On the AMR front, it primarily has four hardware product lines, covering latent AMR, material handling, forklift and rack-moving robots.
Besides, its software platforms, catering to robotic fleet management and smart warehousing, are deployed to car making, new energy, 3C, pharmaceutical, e-commerce and retail sectors.
Hikrobot said its solutions can reduce logistic costs for downstream players, thereby increasing production efficiency and management quality.
Hikrobot became a partially owned subsidiary of Hikvision, after the parent divested the firm in a stock split and transferred 40% of its equity to Qinghe Investment, which in effect manages the employee option pool of Hikrobot.
As of September 30, 2022, Hikvision and Qinghe Investment held 60% and 40% of Hikrobot’s stake, the prospectus shows.
If the IPO bid is given the go-ahead, Hikrobot will become the third Hikvision-related firm to be listed on China’s stock market, after Hikvision itself and Ezviz (萤石网络, 688475), which went public on the Nasdaq-style Star market on December 28, 2022.
The firm posted a net profit of 45 million yuan, 65 million yuan and 482 million yuan on revenue of 852 million yuan, 1.55 billion yuan and 2.74 billion yuan from 2019 to 2021.
In the first nine months of 2022, it recorded revenue of 2.81 billion yuan and a net profit of 428 million yuan.
Notably, Hikrobot stated in the prospectus that the company’s computer vision and AMR businesses could face downside risks resulting from frequent technological advances and iterations in these two realms.
If the company fails to grasp the industrial technological trends, or achieve core breakthroughs in R&D, it could lag behind peers in terms of innovation and lose its competitive edge, thus hurting its bottom line, Hikrobot admitted in the prospectus.