Beijing, July 11 (TMTPOST) – Chinese robot maker Pudu Robotics will streamline its business operation and teams to ensure the company’s survival, Pudu Robotics’ CEO Zhang Tao said in a long email sent to the staff.
Founded in 2016 in Shenzhen, Pudu Robotics is a tech-focused enterprise dedicated to the design, research and development, production and sales of commercial service robots. The company’s robots are widely applied in restaurant, coffee shop, hospital, school, office building, shopping mall, hotel, factory. The company completed its Series C+ round financing in September last year.
Pudu Robotics at its peak had around 3,000 employees, according to a former employee and several other sources. The company started laying off employees in the beginning of 2022. It is expected that the company’s employee size will be streamlined to around 500 people.
In fact, many top service robot makers in China, including Pudu Robotics, Keenon Robotics and Yunji Technology, are all downsizing their business operation to some extent.
Zhang said in his email that he had realized that it is very difficult to get financing from investors nowadays. He also mentioned in the email that the entire service robot industry has been failing to achieve profitability.
An insider from Keenon Robotics said that the whole service robot industry has been laying off employees and that Keenon Robotics has already laid off over 800 employees since the start of 2022. Currently, Keenon Robotics has around 300 employees, according to the insider.
It is worth noting that a recent report from market research firm IDC suggests that the market of commercial robots for restaurants in China has been growing fast in the past two years because of the demand for contactless food delivery and the rising labor cost in the country. According to IDC, the market scale in 2021 was US$84 million, registering year-on-year growth of 110.4%.
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