Our country's robotic industry shows a partial bubble

Today, looking at the development of global technology, we can see that a new era of future robots is coming to us. It is predicted that between 2014 and 2018, the global sales volume of industrial robots will almost double to 400,000. From a macro perspective, the next five to 10 years will be a crucial period for the world's new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial changes from being ready to happening to groups.

At present, the capital for investment in the robotics industry can be roughly divided into three categories: government capital, market-based venture capital institutions, and listed companies. In addition, there have been some institutions in the investment industry that follow suit, which is indeed a manifestation of the partial bubble.

As the country has supported robots as a strategic emerging industry, the robotics industry has attracted a lot of attention in a short period of time, and the investment enthusiasm of the capital for the robotics industry has continued to increase from last year to this year.

Xin Guobin, deputy minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, once admitted that China’s robotic industry has potential for oversupply and that the robotics industry needs to avoid blind expansion and low-level redundant construction.

Service robots are sought after by venture capital

At present, the application market for industrial robots is the most mature, but there are concerns that core components need to be imported. Service robots are a hot topic of concern for the capital community this year, but it is difficult to see explosive products. Special robots are mainly used in military, environmental protection, public security, and other sub-sectors. Because the company has a government or military background, domestic companies have more competitive advantages than overseas companies.

Lianchuang Investment and the HIT Group have jointly established a 3 billion-scale robot industry investment fund and will start systematic investment in the robot field from 2016. Wang Yuhang, senior vice president of Lianchuang Investment, said that companies in the field of industrial robots generally have clear products and mature business models, and the realization is relatively fast. However, the disadvantages are that the industry is too mature and the competition is fierce. To select the best corporate investment from a large number of homogeneous ontology manufacturers is actually a process of scouring the sand.

“At this stage, the core components of China’s high-end industrial robots still rely heavily on imports. The high-end market for servos, speed reducers, and controllers is monopolized by foreign countries. For example, speed reducer products are mainly controlled by Japanese manufacturers such as Nabo, Sumitomo, and domestic products. , stability, life expectancy and other aspects compared with imported products have a big gap, and reducer and occupies more than 30% of the cost of China's robots." Sui Tang Capital Sui Tang Institute, chief analyst of the robot plate Li Wenran analysis.

Due to the attractive market for 2C, it is easy to form an outbreak in a short period of time. Service robots are most favored by venture capital agencies.

Qi Guantai, a partner of Qiming Capital Partners, said that the components inside the toy robot do not need to be as sophisticated as industrial robots, and the price is more in line with market demand, so Qiming has invested in this area. Emotional companion robots are also concerned about Qiming, but have not yet found a suitable target.

Wang Yuhang believes that there are a large number of children, teenagers and senior citizens under China’s huge population base. This has helped service robots such as assistant robots and educational robots with huge market demands. However, the problem with this market is that there are not many mature products that can really solve the pain points. In addition to sweeping robots, people can't think of too many products that can be called "phenomena".

The segmentation market for special robots is also a focus of venture capital institutions. Wang Yuhang stated that most of the customers of this robot have government and military backgrounds. If the orders can be taken, they will usually have a large amount and a long continuous period, which will give the company a stable revenue growth expectation. But on the other hand, the process of taking orders will be long and winding, and it is not easy to form an outbreak.

Partial bubble appears

At present, the capital for investment in the robotics industry can be roughly divided into three categories: government capital such as Guoxin Fund, Qiming Venture Capital, Qualcomm Venture Capital, Lianchuang Investment and other market-based venture capital institutions, Midea, Foxconn and other listed companies.

When the country's guiding policies are implemented in place, there will be corresponding industrial parks, industrial support policies, and guidance funds. After the industrial park is completed, it hopes to recruit as many robotics companies as possible. Some companies will follow suit to make subsidies or take external investment for some of the crude robots. There are also some institutions that follow the trend in the investment industry and it is indeed a partial bubble.

“A very hot industry has attracted a lot of attention in a short time, but there are not enough excellent targets to invest, resulting in a lot of money can only be relegated to second place, voted some not so good projects. And then hope in the tuyere theory I hope to gain a share after the industry has gone up," said Wang Yuhang.

However, Wang Yuhang stated that capital investment is not overheating in the real core value. Ye Guantai also stated that in terms of market demand, China’s robot investment is not excessive, and the automation ratio in many European and American countries has reached 30%, while China has less than 10%, and there is still much room for development.

"Now IDG, Sequoia and other big funds will all use part of their own TMT funds to invest in robots. Everyone has a consensus that robots will have great investment opportunities in the next ten years, especially in service robots." Wang Yuhang said.

Ye Guantai said that because of the relatively new robotics field, there are actually not many institutions that specialize in robots. "Everyone will try to invest one or two projects more or less, but they do not dare to focus on this aspect. Because it has a relatively long cycle, capital needs to have a relatively stable return and there can be no great risks."

For listed companies, investment robots mainly consider the synergistic value of the company's other businesses, as well as improving its own automation capabilities and production efficiency.

Li Wenran stated that the listed company's investment robots can be divided into two categories. One is Midea, TCL, Foxconn and other companies. On the one hand, development of robots can help them reduce business costs through machine generation. On the other hand, they can expand business types to find new profit growth. point.

The other type is a company like the HIT Group. They understand robotics technology, know what is the key point in the development of the industry, and what companies can do at this stage. Then, from the perspective of making up for the shortcomings of the entire industry chain, to invest in mergers and acquisitions, this is beneficial to the cost reduction of the national robotics industry.

The core technologies that have been bought from overseas have been transformed into applications for domestic companies, which have led to leapfrog development and are common in semiconductors, clean energy technologies and other industries. In the robotics field, there are also cases of the acquisition of KUKA by the United States.

However, Li Wenran believes that overtaking in corners is not so easy to achieve in the industrial sector. "Some technologies abroad are not for sale. Under the premise of technological blockade, we must develop a little bit of R&D. There are also some technologies that we can buy. There are also problems with the digestion and absorption of new technologies," he said.

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