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Updated: 04/2019

Dorabot

China / Shenzhen , China / Website

03/2018 Series A
Logistics & Supply Chain Artificial Intelligence Hardware Robotics
  • Pitch

    Dorabot’s logistics robotic solutions can be retrofitted to existing warehouse systems, including its long 6DoF robotic arm, adding flexibility, speed and cost efficiency to processes.

  • Why

    • Fast-growing logistics needs

      Logistics solutions need to handle skyrocketing retail volumes due to the online shopping boom.

    • Speed is paramount

      E-retailers prioritize fast delivery in customer service, pressurizing logistics companies to reduce their processing times.

    • Warehouse building, overhaul costly

      Building new warehouses or restructuring warehouse systems to accommodate new technology is expensive.

  • Market

    RMB 1 trillion

    Forecast value of China’s smart logistics market by 2025, compared with over RMB 200 billion in 2016, with growth stemming from online retail and the “new retail” boom.

  • Product

    Harnessing AI, robotics, sensors and computer vision technology, logistics-focused Dorabot develops and offers robots and other robotic solutions for automating warehouses (including loading/unloading, induction, sorting, palletizing/depalletizing); delivery and courier services; airports and seaports. A Dorabot robot can do the work of 3-4 people.

  • Founders

  • Investors

  • Journey

    • 2014–2015 - Launch of Dorabot amid O2O boom; sought to improve upon Amazon's Kiva Systems' solutions; raised over US$11 million in seed and Series A fundings.

      • The Launch

        March 2014, Dorabot founded by Zhou Dandan and Zhang Hao in an office smaller than 20 square meters. 

        • Dorabot was launched amid O2O retail boom in China. Founders were inspired by Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics), the world’s largest robotic logistics player acquired by Amazon for US$775 million in 2012.
        • Founders wanted to improve on Kiva Systems’ solutions by improving flexibility, speed and cost efficiency in robotics warehouse sorting.
        • Dorabot was named after Doraemon, the famous blue robotic cat from the Japanese manga series.

        2015, business operations launched.

      • Key personnel

        May 2015, Spencer Deng (Deng Xiaobai) joined Dorabot as CEO.

      • Products and services

        December 2015, released first-generation general purpose robot. 

      • Fundings

        May 2014, received US$1.6 million in seed funding from Sinovation Ventures.

        September 2015, received nearly US$10 million in Series A funding from Aplus Capital.

    • 2016 - 2017 - Expanded team; developed principal software, cargo uploading application; signed key contracts; hired UPS veteran as COO.

      • Products and services

        2016, developed software technology behind its robot.

      • Expansion

        2016, second runner-up at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots.

        2017, signed contracts with international clients and optimized its software using their data.

      • Key personnel

        October 2017, logistics veteran and former UPS senior executive Chong Loo joined the company as Chief Commercial Officer, bringing with him over 30 years of industry experience.

    • 2018 - Selected by Plug and Play's accelerator program; opened R&D center in Australia.

      • Expansion

        August, accepted into Plug and Play's Fall 2018 Accelerator Program.

        October, opened an R&D center in Brisbane, Australia, to increase Dorabot's overseas presence.

      • Fundings

        February, raised tens of millions of USD in Series A+ funding led by YF Capital, with participation from new investor GP Capital and existing investors Sinovation Ventures and Aplus Capital.

      • Key personnel

        July, Leo Wong, former CEO and managing director of HKEX-listed Modern Media Group, joined Dorabot as business partner in charge of expansion.

        September, Gary Bradski, founder of computer vision library OpenCV, joined Dorabot as Chief Robotic Vision Scientist.

    • In January 2019, Alan Gershenhorn, former chief commercial officer at UPS, joined Dorabot as Senior Strategy Advisor, and Peter Corke, computer vision scientist and founder of the Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, joined Dorabot as Chief Scientist.

      The company is close to breaking even.

      Dorabot is staffed by a multinational team of over 120 employees, who come from North America, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Europe, and who have worked at ABB, Robocup, Robocon and DJI. 80% of the team are IT staff.

    • Use Series A+ funds to expand research and marketing teams in China and the US. 

      Accelerate large-scale application of fully automated loading, unloading and sorting technology in warehouses.

      Expand to overseas markets in the US, Southeast Asia and Europe as well as airports and seaports. Build smart warehouses in the US and/or China in 2019.

      Dorabot’s long-term vision is to build a general-purpose robot with auto-navigation and visual recognition features. 

  • Business Model

    Dorabot is looking to penetrate the logistics robotics sector through the last-mile delivery and e-commerce warehouse markets. Currently, the hardware development of each robot costs between US$10,000 and US$30,000. Software development accounts for 70% of Dorabot's R&D and capital costs.

    N.A.

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