China Digest: Tsinghua fund backs robot maker Trifo; Ant Financial invests in Shuwei

Human interaction with artificial intelligence | Photo: Bloomberg

AI home robot company Trifo has raised investment to help develop smart robots for indoor use. Meanwhile, Ant Financial has invested in indoor positioning service provider Shuwei.

AI home robot firm Trifo raises $11 m led by Tsinghua AI Fund

California-based artificial intelligence (AI) home robot company Trifo has raised $11 million in a funding round led by Tsinghua AI Fund.

According to a company statement, Trifo will use the proceeds to build the next generation of smart home robots.

Trifo focuses on indoor home environments and has developed an end-to-end integrated hardware/software system with sensing, perception and decision capabilities. It is backed by investors including Walden International, Matrix Partners and Samsung Ventures.

“Products in the market today are designed for a single function and are not intelligent enough to learn to perform other complex tasks for chore automation, such as learning your home’s indoor landscape or identifying the best time to perform tasks autonomously. Just as mobile phones act as the primary connection between people, home robots should be the connector between machines, homes, and its occupants, whether they are at home or not,” said Trifo CEO and founder Zhe Zhang.

Trifo says it is building consumer products to perform complex tasks such as position tracking and visual mapping, obstacle avoidance and environmental perception such as understating temperature and humidity.

“The industry is in the midst of a long-anticipated leap from standalone robots to robots that are part of an expanded and more integrated smart home ecosystem,” said Philip Solis, Research Director at ABI Research.

Shuwei raises Series B+ round led by Ant Financial

Shenzhen-based Shuwei, an indoor positioning service provider for mobile and smartphone manufacturers, has completed an undisclosed Series B+ round led by Ant Financial, China Money Network reported.

Founded in 2014, Shuwei claims to have more than 100 million active users across 136 cities in China.

The latest funding comes about a year after Shuwei raised RMB50 million ($7.7 million) in Series A financing led by Fosun RZ Capital, an investment arm of Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun Group.

At that time, the platform was aiming to expand its services to over 200 cities in China, receiving support from Fosun’s big data system to connect Shuwei’s technology with consumers.

Other investors backing Shuwei include SAIF Partners, Oriental Fortune Capital, Jiguang and Changrun Capital.

Also Read:

China Digest: Seven Seas leads series B in Roobo; Shuwei secures $7.7m

China tests tighter regulations on financial firms including Ant Financial