Neptune Robotics announced on Friday it has completed round-A financing totaling 100 million yuan ($15.4 million). The leading investor was Sequoia China, while co-investors were Matrix Partners and SOSV. After this round of financing, Neptune Robotics will reportedly invest more in product development, accelerate market expansion and continue technological innovation.
Neptune Robotics was established in 2018, and its products are applied mainly in the shipping industry. It focuses on the inspection and cleaning of ship hulls by remote semi-automatic industrial grade robots in port and anchorage scenarios, saving fuel consumption and reducing carbon emissions for the shipping industry. So far, the company has carried out regular hull inspection and cleaning services in ports and anchorage sites in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Ningbo.
The firm’s robot cleaning scheme is distinguished from traditional operation modes through four characteristics: First, it can work at all hours without stop. Second, it causes no damage to ship paint. Third, it is applicable both on water and underwater. Fourth, the robots are safe and can provide services during the loading, unloading and refuellingof ships.
Neptune Robotics manages to realize dynamic path planning in 3D space – above and below water – as well as automatic cleaning operations through its self-developed underwater positioning system, precise displacement projection, real-time robot pose capture, 3D map heuristic generation, and massive real-time data cloud computing and monitoring.
Colin Guo, partner of Sequoia China, said: “We have long focused on the application of new technologies in vertical scenarios. As the world is now experiencing high international oil prices and clean and low-carbon background, the cleaning of ships can effectively reduce fuel consumption, energy saving and emission reduction. Also, China is home to the world’s largest number of large ports and as the world’s leading shipping market, Neptune Robotics can provide quality services to international ship owners and ship managers based in China’s ports.”