XAG back into the fold of agtech unicorns, valued at reportedly US$986 million

The company appears to be staging a comeback by repairing damages to its valuation and reviving aspirations to seek a listing on a domestic bourse.

XAG (极飞科技), a domestic leader in the agricultural drone market, has reportedly returned to the unicorn club following the latest Series D funding round that took place in late September.

Chinese media reported today that the Guangzhou-headquartered drone manufacturer, which also produces autonomous agricultural vehicles, flight control systems and other agriculture-related technologies, is now valued at 7.2 billion yuan (US$986 million), crossing the US$1 billion mark and making it a unicorn.

In effect, the company had attained the unicorn status as early as November 2020, when it bagged 1.2 billion yuan — the largest single fundraiser ever in China’s agtech space.

Chinese media reported then that the company’s post-money valuation already put it in the league of unicorns, without disclosing the exact valuation.

Nonetheless, the startup’s fortunes fell precipitously since then, slipping out of the unicorn club due to various setbacks it encountered.

The company sustained the biggest blow to its tech ambitions last year following the suspension by China’s stock regulator of its bid to file for an IPO on the country’s Nasdaq-style STAR market.

The failure was blamed on the firm’s dismal profitability prospects as it recorded losses year after year.

Market analysts believe that the fresh fundraising in September partially restored confidence to XAG’s investors.

The company appears to be staging a comeback by repairing damages to its valuation and reviving aspirations to seek a listing on a domestic bourse.

Founded in 2007 by an ex-Microsoft executive named Peng Bin, a self-made tech entrepreneur, XAG has come a long way in recent years to evolve into a poster boy in China’s emerging agtech segment.

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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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