Robot industry coming to a head?Purdue Technologies, which raised $1 billion, is facing layoffs

2022-05-23 0 By

Author 丨 deer edit 丨 Mr Shen three thousand now in artificial intelligence, Internet of things, a confluence of 5 g technology, driven by robots in manufacturing, services, medical, defense, space exploration and other fields, even use more and more widely, robots are seeping into all aspects of human society, has become a driving force to change the world.China is the world’s largest robot market, 1/3 of the world’s robot production in China, robot industry is becoming a new name card of “Made in China”, huge development potential.As the robot industry was written into the “Made in China 2025″ strategy, local preferential policies were implemented one after another, and private capital poured in madly, so that China’s robot enterprises mushroomed. In just a few years, the number of enterprises has grown from less than 100 to more than 40,000.On the other hand, a series of restrictions in the United States, preventing academic exchanges and limiting product exports, have made the robot industry increasingly difficult.China’s robot industry has ushered in a critical period of overcoming difficulties, but also faces the dual challenges of risks and opportunities, including long-term dependence on overseas technologies and products.There are also risks associated with an overheated industry;More mixed with the disorderly expansion of capital caused by the industry chaos.As a technology-intensive industry, the robot industry in China needs a lot of theoretical and technical research as support, and then through scientific research results into practical application.There are two mature ways for service robots to reach the market in Europe and the United States. One is for r&d teams to attract enterprises to invest in product research and development with technological creativity.Another is for companies to hand over mature product ideas to independent technical teams for development.That is to say, the RESEARCH and development team is responsible for technology, the enterprise is responsible for capital and market, the two closely cooperate, theory technology and product can be organically combined.However, with the influx of capital in our robot industry, a lot of resources have been misallocated.Shenzhen Purdue Technology Co LTD (” Purdue “) has seen its headcount increase from 300 in July 2020 to 3,000 in November last year after a massive expansion, and has started slashing staff since 2022, reported.The whole process is full of ups and downs, but what is surprising is that Purdue just announced the completion of C2 round of financing on September 14, 2021. According to media reports, the accumulative amount of financing in C1 and C2 rounds is nearly 1 billion RMB, and investors include Meituan, SHENZHEN Investment Holding Capital, Sequoia China and other strategic investors.The incident has not only brought serious negative impact on the robot industry, but also cast a shadow on China’s robot industry at a critical moment to attract high-quality talents.Purdue technology’s fist product is the food delivery robot, which has the same function as other brands, namely to complete the task of delivering food from the kitchen to the table at a fixed distance, and the delivery path is along the fixed track measured in advance.Such a service robot with a single function costs 30,000 to 50,000 yuan per machine, and its market price is 60,000 to 100,000 yuan.Zhu Xiangyang, a robotics expert from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, once told Oriental Outlook magazine that when the robot market is not mature, it is up to enterprises to push for product renewal, as consumers have no choice.What service robot companies need to do most now is to carry out solid product research and development, instead of blindly creating gimmicks.Purdue clearly has a good hand. It could build reputation with technology, lower costs with scale, and build market with volume. However, it sent a “pessimistic” message with a mass layoff without warning.What’s wrong with Purdue?Purdue is in a hot track, and the robotics industry is a promising sunrise industry.From 2020 to 2021, there were more than 150 financing events in the field of commercial robotics, with a total amount of more than 10 billion yuan, of which Purdue secured 1 billion yuan.As soon as purdue secured the funding, it began to expand its market, doubling its workforce nearly tenfold in a short period of time.This was followed by drastic lay-offs, unusual in any industry in the past.In the past, most companies chose to expand massively when they were flush with cash and spread their businesses across multiple related areas. When risks appeared in business and management, they had to cut marginal businesses. Last year, Bytedance cut education and training and online games, for example, because both businesses were exposed to policy risks.If the latter has a background forced by the situation, let a person is quite helpless, while the former Purdue is completely different.No shortage of money, no shortage of markets, a good hand, but with a mass layoff without warning, send a “pessimistic” message.At the same time that Purdue is facing irresistible pressure, there are also concerns about the ability of its management.In Maimai, a former Purdue employee joked, “Crazy expansion city, invited a bunch of sales uncle, no performance always show off;I hired a bunch of operations people to increase activity, but I didn’t find much value…”The hasty expansion and recruitment of Purdue Technology did not accurately measure the overall business plan and did not fit with the overall strategy, which exposed the great management problems within Purdue.Purdue deserves no sympathy for creating its own bubble and negatively impacting the industry by blitzing a huge business with no obvious technological advantage.But does this mean that the robot industry has entered a “decline” stage?Robot industrial technology research institute, Shanghai Zheng Junqi said: “unlike technology-driven industrial robot, service robot is largely driven by market, who can give a fixed inspection application scenario, large-scale market, who can get rapid development opportunities, but our country is the country with the largest market application scenario.”The application scenario and user scale of robot industry in China are very large, and it is in the blue ocean stage.Conclusion China’s robot industry is facing a critical period of overcoming difficulties, facing the task of competing with world-class enterprises in the local market.Either way, we can’t afford to lose.