Unitree closes strategic funding, roping in Meituan, CITIC Securities as new investors

The robot made a splash within the global humanoid robot community since Unitree announced plans to begin mass production this year, with mass deliveries to start in Q4.

Unitree (宇树科技), one of the world’s leading general purpose robot developers, reportedly closed a strategic funding round yesterday for an undisclosed amount of money.

According to itjuzi.com, a deal-tracking news portal, the Hangzhou-headquartered firm received the proceeds from a trio of big-name investors including Shenzhen Capital Group, Meituan and CITIC Securities.

Although the exact amount of the raise was not disclosed, itjuzi said the startup secured this round at a post-money valuation of 500 million yuan.

cnrobopedia is unable to confirm the veracity of this valuation.

The B1 robot dog ascends stairs in a file photo from Unitree.

Wang Xingxing, founder and CEO of Unitree, declined to comment on the news but told cnrobopedia that it will not announce the deal until the Lunar New Year holiday is over (February 18).

Increased registered capital

Tianyancha, a business registry information provider, first broke the news on February 6 of Unitree’s latest fundraising effort.

An updated profile of the company said its registered capital base had grown from 1.935 million yuan (US$269,000) to 2.399 million yuan, suggesting a change to the shareholder structure.

The last time Unitree pulled in funds was in April 2022, when the developer of quadrupedal and bipedal robots raised hundreds of millions of yuan in a Series B round.

The round was then led by Matrix China Partners and DH Capital, with participation from existing shareholders Shunwei Capital, Winreal Investment and Shenzhen Capital Group.

Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, poses for photo with Unitree’s H1 robot and business reps in the US.

Foray into humanoid robotics

Unitree has been in the limelight last year. It introduced the H1, its first-generation full-size humanoid biped, on August 15.

The robot made a splash within the global humanoid robot community since Unitree announced plans to begin mass production this year, with mass deliveries to start in Q4.

The entry of Unitree, which has a reputation for bringing prices down to their lowest levels thanks to massive supply chain advantages, could turn up the heat on its rivals amid a global race to commercialize humanoid robotics.

A bitter rivalry

In September, the company’s flagship consumer-grade robot dog Go2 made international headlines during the 19th Hangzhou Asian Games, “bringing back javelins and discuses to athletes from where they landed,” to the amusement of athletes and attendees, according to a story run by Kyodo News Agency.

The B2, an upgraded successor of the B1, is Unitree’s answer to arch rival DEEP Robotics’ X30.

In early November, it unveiled the B2, an upgraded successor to the B1 quadruped robot specializing in industrial applications such as electrical inspection and emergency rescue.

Unitree says B2 maxes out at 6 meter per second in its walking speed, making it the fastest industry-oriented robot dog the world has ever seen.

The B2 will be pitted against the X30, another new industrial-grade quadruped robot from DEEP Robotics (云深处科技), also a Chinese developer of legged robots and a cross-town rival.

In recent years, these two companies have been locked in a bitter competition over market share that looks set to heat up and spread from their home turf to the world arena.

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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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