Sequoia Capital and Xiaomi Reduce Stakes in Segway-Ninebot

Segway-Ninebot, a manufacturer of intelligent short-distance transportation and service robots, announced on Monday that the venture capital institutions under Sequoia Capital and Xiaomi had reduced their stake by nearly 6.5% in the past few months.

Founded in 2012, Segway-Ninebot is headquartered in Beijing, and owns two brands: Ninebot and Segway. At present, the company oversees three major business regions in the world: Asia Pacific, Europe and America.

In October 2014, the company received a joint capital injection of more than $80 million from Xiaomi, Sequoia, WestSummit Capital and Shunwei Capital. In October 2017, it completed round-C financing of $100 million from the fund managed by SDIC Fund and China Mobile Innovation Industry Fund. On October 29, 2020, the company was successfully listed on the Shanghai Sci-Tech Innovation Board (STAR Market).

Segway-Ninebot is mainly engaged in the design, R&D, production, sales and service of various intelligent short-distance mobile devices. Its main products include intelligent electric balance vehicles, intelligent electric scooters, intelligent service robots and other product lines, and it is a supplier of Xiaomi’s balancing vehicle.

Because of the price increase of raw materials and other factors, the cash flow situation of the company is somewhat worrying. The first quarterly report of the company for 2022 shows that its operating income in the first quarter of 2022 was 1.917 billion yuan ($287.55 million), with a year-on-year increase of 7.80%. The net profit attributable to shareholders of listed companies was 38.4466 million yuan, with a year-on-year increase of 51.32%. In the first quarter, net cash flow of business activities was -43.48 million yuan, but this figure was not explained in detail in the report.

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In 2021, the operating cash flow of the company was -161 million yuan, which was obviously worse than the positive inflow of 896 million yuan in 2020. Regarding the downturn, the company explained: “It is mainly due to the advance stocking at the end of this period, the increase in inventory, the advance payment of suppliers for reserving goods and the increase in export drawback receivable.” Regarding the increase in advance payment, the firm claimed “it is mainly due to the company’s advance payment for raw material purchase in response to the rising price of raw materials.”