SoftBank-backed Chinese robot producer CloudMinds files for USD 500 million IPO

Frost & Sullivan predicts sales related to cloud robotics to reach USD 103 billion by 2023.

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Beijing-headquartered robot producer CloudMinds has filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering to raise up to USD 500 million.

The company sells or leases robots that have capabilities such as welcoming guests, promoting products, and cleaning the floor.

The firm’s filing says that its cloud-based robots can “self-upgrade on a continual basis” as they are powered by “abundant and evolving computing and storage resources in the cloud”.

That’s opposed to traditional robots, which CloudMind thinks are limited based on the computing capabilities carried by the chips and storage capacity built within robot bodies.

The company also sells cloud-based solutions and devices to control robots.

It booked USD 121 million in 2018 in total revenues, an increase of 529% year-on-year. The company also made a net loss of USD 156.8 million in 2018 as compared to a net loss of USD 47.7 million in 2017.

Frost & Sullivan estimated the market size of global robotics, which is measured by sales value of both cloud and non-cloud robots, will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 21.6% in the next 5 years, from USD 75.5 billion in 2018 to hit USD 201 billion in 2023.

The market research firm also expects cloud robotics to significantly gain relevance, increasing their share from 15.1% in 2018 to 51.3% by 2023 with sales reaching USD 103 billion in the same year.

CloudMinds’ prospectus shows that SoftBank is a seed round investor in the company.