Agile Robots: Series C financing led by SoftBank
Munich/Beijing — ARQIS advised Agile Robots AG, a highly innovative robotics company, on its Series C financing round with a total investment volume of US$220 million. Agile Robots is thus the first German Unicorn in the robotics industry, becoming the highest rated robotics company worldwide. The proceeds from this financing will be used primarily for product development, series production and the company’s global sales expansion. and is valued at more than one billion US dollars worldwide.
The financing round was led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, followed by financial investors including Abu Dhabi Royal Group, Hillhouse Ventures, Sequoia Capital China , and Linear Capital (in alphabetical order), as well as strategic investors Xiaomi Group, Foxconn Industrial Internet (“FII”), and Midas, founded by former Foxconn executives.
The proceeds from this financing will be used primarily for product development in Munich and China, the establishment and expansion of series production in Germany and China, and the expansion of the company’s global sales activities.
Agile Robots had already succeeded in raising funding of over $130 million in two rounds in 2020, and is now the company with the highest amount of funding for an Intelligent Robotics company. Agile Robots is currently the world’s only Unicorn in robotics with a valuation of more than $1 billion. With the closing of this financing round, Agile Robots is the first robotics company in which SoftBank Vision Fund 2 has invested in Europe and China.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to the very dynamic Chinese market and to support entrepreneurs driving a wave of innovation, we are pleased to partner with Dr. Zhaopeng Chen, Peter Meusel and the team at Agile Robots,” said Dr. Eric Chen, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “Agile Robots combines artificial intelligence with advanced robotics technology to solve some of the industry’s most challenging problems, and is the latest example of our continued support for the growing European and Chinese technology sectors.”
Agile Robots was founded in 2018 and is headquartered in both Munich, Germany and Beijing, China. Agile Robots is a robotics software platform company with leading hardware expertise in robotics. With the German Aerospace Center (“DLR”) as its technical backbone and the core concept of “AI Empowerment”, the company is committed to fostering the deep combination and innovation of artificial intelligence and robotics, and driving the application of robotics into even more industrial fields. DLR is not only the first research institution to send intelligent robots into space and perform complex tasks such as human-robot collaboration, but also the first in the world to successfully develop force-controlled robots that have also been adopted by industry for their production.
“With its unique technology that combines a robotics operating system and world-leading sensitive robots, Agile Robots is striving to achieve a fundamental breakthrough in the field of robotics,” said Dr. Zhaopeng Chen, founder and CEO of Agile Robots AG. “Agile Robots realistically brings the next generation of robots into industrial intelligent precision assembly areas and medical treatment scenarios that previously could only be performed by humans. With the excellent support from our renowned investors and customers, we are confident to lead robotics into a new era,” Zhaopeng Chen continued.
Agile Robots has independently developed and launched software and hardware products, such as the “AgileCore” operating system for coordinating robots and accessories such as grippers and other end effectors from various manufacturers, the “DIANA” intelligent force-controlled robot, medical robots, humanoid five-finger sensitive hands, and the flexible intelligent production platform (FIP).
With its unique hardware and software R&D capabilities, Agile Robots has launched a highly disruptive “Robotic Worker” that serves as an intelligent assistant for all kinds of workers and professionals from various fields to perform mundane or hazardous tasks. Agile Robots is thus opening up new “blue ocean markets” for intelligent robot applications. Currently, the company has used its robots for production in numerous industrial scenarios. Agile Robots’ products have already been successfully deployed into mass production in the consumer electronics industry and are widely used in medical, industrial (consumer electronics, automotive, jewelry and other precision assembly and manufacturing scenarios), agricultural, educational and service sectors. — Agile Robots is expanding its market presence worldwide with its 440 employees (140 in Germany and 300 in China).
Consultant Agile Robots: ARQIS (Munich):
Prof. Dr. Christoph von Einem, Dr. Mauritz von Einem (both lead; both venture capital), Marcus Nothhelfer (IP/IT), Dr. Christof Alexander Schneider (Düsseldorf; corporate law); Associates: Benjamin Bandur, Louisa Theresa Graf, Anselm Graf (all venture capital), Nora Meyer-Stratmann (IP/IT)
ARQIS is an independent business law firm operating internationally. The firm was founded in 2006 in Düsseldorf, Munich and Tokyo. Around 55 lawyers and legal specialists advise domestic and foreign companies at the highest level on German and Japanese business law. With the focus groups Transactions, HR.Law, Japan, Data.Law and Risk, the firm is geared towards providing holistic advice to its clients. www.arqis.com.
Especially for China market, Agile Robots has completed the strategic layout in Northeast China, North China, Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and other regions. And in Germany, series production is currently being set up in Kaufbeuren in the Allgäu region. In addition, Agile has extensive strategic collaborations with China’s listed orthopedic surgery robot company TINAVI, the leading neurosurgery robot company Remebot, several top-tier Chinese general and specialty hospitals, New Hope Group, and several other world-leading companies (such as an international consumer electronics manufacturing giant, an international telecommunications service provider, and one of the world’s top 500 electronic device manufacturers, etc.).
Based on a personal contact, the experienced VC expert Christoph von Einem has been advising the company since its foundation in March 2018. From the Series A financing round onwards, he shared the lead management with his son Mauritz. The young lawyer and tax advisor has been part of the Arqis partner team since the beginning of 2020 and also handled the structuring of the transactions. His father, who used to head the China desk at White & Case and is therefore familiar with the customs and regulatory requirements of the Chinese investor community, also serves as chairman of the start-up’s supervisory board.
Arqis, together with its Tokyo office, also coordinates the global IP strategy for Agile Robots and developed incentive programs for the Chinese and German employees with the managers. Wolfgang Keilitz from the Bavarian boutique Patworx is regularly involved for special patent law issues.
About Agile Robots
Agile Robots AG is a high-tech startup based in Munich. Agile Robots is a spin-off of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and aims to revolutionize the market with its intelligent robot solutions. — Our mission is to bridge the gap between artificial intelligence and robotics by developing systems that combine state-of-the-art force-torque sensing and world-leading image processing technology. This unique combination of technologies enables us to provide smart, user-friendly and affordable robotic solutions that enable safe human-robot interaction. www.agile-robots.com