Suzhou-based Ecovacs Robotics debuted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange today. The floor sweeping and window cleaning robot company issued 40.1 million shares at US $3.13 per share on the A-share market. It plans to use the funds raised via its IPO to produce four million home service robots, build an IoT ecosystem, and expand into the global market.
Ecovacs was founded in 1998 by Dongqi Qian as TEK Electrical Company, which made parts for vacuum cleaners. Its first vacuum sweeper robot “0405” was positively received in 2005, prompting the company to refocus on robotics. Ecovacs’ subsidiary product lines include mobile entertainment, air purification, and window cleaning.
Deebot, literally translated as “floor babe,” is the company’s flagship model, launched in 2008 and still on sale today. There are 12 Deebot models listed on Ecovacs’ website — the most popular, R95, retails for US $549.99. The sweeper is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
In 2017, Ecovacs had a 48.8 percent share of online sales and 51.9 percent of offline sales in the domestic service robotics industry. At China’s “Double 11” online shopping extravaganza in November, Ecovacs topped the electronic product chart with the most sales.
Ecovacs is part of China’s burgeoning home service robotics industry, supplying the world’s largest consumer market. The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) reports that while 290 out of 700 registered service robot companies are European, only about 130 are based in Asia. As a leading Chinese leading robotics manufacturer, might Ecovacs’ global move be a game changer?
Journalist: Meghan Han | Editor: Michael Sarazen