Chinese Robot Maker UBTech Bags USD128 Million in Hong Kong IPO
Zheng Xutong
DATE:  Dec 29 2023
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
Chinese Robot Maker UBTech Bags USD128 Million in Hong Kong IPO Chinese Robot Maker UBTech Bags USD128 Million in Hong Kong IPO

(Yicai) Dec. 29 -- UBTech Robotics secured HKD1 billion (USD128 million) in its initial public offering in Hong Kong today, becoming the first Chinese manufacturer of humanoid robotics to go public.

UBTech’s share price [HKG:9880] closed up 0.9 percent from its issue price to reach HKD90.85 (USD11.53) apiece, giving it a market capitalization of HKD38 billion (USD4.9 billion).

UBTech issued 11.3 million shares at a unit price of HKD90 per share. After deducting expenses, the Shenzhen-based company raked in HKD906 million (USD116 million), it said yesterday.

The IPO proceeds will mainly go towards research and development, especially the upgrading of core technologies for humanoid robots, according to its prospectus. The funds will also be used to repay bank loans, improve R&D infrastructure, increase brand awareness and for other purposes.

UBTech, which was set up in 2012, has yet to make a profit. In the first half it amassed losses of CNY548 million (USD77.3 million) on revenue of CNY261 million. In the three years from 2020 to 2022 it racked up a deficit of CNY2.6 billion (USD366.3 million), the prospectus said.

Most of UBTech’s income comes from robots used in the educational and logistics sectors. Since 2021, it has only sold 10 of its flagship Walker humanoid robots, which walk like a human and can perform simple household tasks such as serving tea, watering flowers and wiping surfaces, due to their high price of CNY6 million (USD845,400) per unit.

Prior to the IPO, founder and Chief Executive Officer Zhou Jian together with persons acting in concert with him owned 52.6 percent stake of the robot maker, while internet titan Tencent Holdings held a 6.3 percent stake and venture capital firm Qiming Venture Partners 5.8 percent.

UBTech was the market leader in China’s edtech smart robot sector last year with 22.5 percent market share, according to data from US consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan. And it ranked third in the smart service robots sector, with a market share of 2.8 percent.

Editors: Dou Shicong, Kim Taylor

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Keywords:   UBTech,IPO