In addition to the usual startup rounds, mergers and acquisitions, and other robotics deals, international investors made some noteworthy moves in the past few months. Chinese funds led Robotics Business Review‘s transactions report for the second quarter of 2018.
Real estate in Asia and an electric car maker in the U.S. may seem worlds apart, but author Jim Nash analyzes China Evergrande’s investment in Faraday Future. The Chinese funds have bet billions of dollars on robotics, artificial intelligence, and healthcare technology.
Do these deals represent a Chinese strategy to gain dominance in automation, or are they part of efforts to stabilize shaky companies?
Mobility keeps accelerating
In the Q2 report, we’ve compiled more than 280 transactions. Many of the largest ones involved companies around autonomous vehicles, AI, and industrial automation, such as GM Cruise, Manbang Group, PTC, and Baidu. The aforementioned Chinese funds are a big part of these.
By the time you get down to investments and government contracts worth “only” tens of millions of dollars, the U.S. military, healthcare, and 3D printing become more prominent. For instance, Arevo Labs, Formlabs, and Shapeways were among the additive manufacturers getting funding.
Collaborative robot makers also did well, as did providers of drones for agriculture. As more manufacturing and supply chain operations add robots, both new and established business are raising funds to serve them. Matternet, Savioke, and Soft Robotics are examples.
Following the money
The Q2 report also looks at specific investments and how Chinese funds reflect wider economic conditions and geopolitical goals.
In addition to this quarterly report, our weekly roundups cover the latest investments, mergers and acquisitions, and other transactions. Also, RBR Insiders can view and sort items in our Transactions Database.”
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