Unmanned boat maker Orcauboat books US$14m from Series B funding

These innovations enable the vessel to identify its location, navigate the surrounding environment, plan its route and minimize the impact of signal occlusion.

Orcauboat (欧卡智舶), an unmanned vessel developer, has completed a Series B round of funding for over 100 million yuan (US$13.9 million), Chinese tech media outlet 36Kr reported yesterday.

The round was backed by Gobi Partners, Skyview Fund and Xi’an Finance Investment Management Co., Ltd.

The company, headquartered in Xi’an, capital of northwestern Shaanxi Province, is committed to developing what it calls surface unmanned driving technology.

The applications include driverless cleaning boat, autonomous yacht and smart docking system.

The startup has come up with six modular products across two series. Its unmanned cleaning vessel is available in four editions, ranging in length between 2m and 5m.

The boat is designed for the purpose of conducting self-initiated environmental protection and sanitation work.

Some typical tasks include removing garbage floating on water.

Another series consists of two self-piloting yachts, mainly to be adopted for scenarios including sightseeing, shuttle service, waterborne commerce, among others.

Since its inception, the startup has dedicated itself to the independent development of hardware and software parts essential to autonomous boat, as well as autonomous driving algorithms.

These innovations enable the vessel to identify its location, navigate the surrounding environment, plan its route and minimize the impact of signal occlusion.

Currently, its products can be found in 10 countries, with applications in 100 bodies of water, including reservoirs, waterways, lakes and coastal waters.

To date, they have clocked 650,000km, making the firm a leader in the industry.

According to Insight and Info, a market intelligence provider, China’s unmanned vessel market hit 1.33 billion yuan in 2022, for which data was last available.

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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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