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In its eight years of existence, the Chinese startup Rokid has gone through a few changes, and it has just raised some new money to keep going. When smart speakers were all the rage in China in the mid-2015s, the Temasek-backed company began producing them. However, in recent years, it has focused more of its attention on augmented reality.
Rokid announced this week that it has raised $160 million in a Series C round. This brings the total amount of money it has raised to $378 million. We haven’t heard much about Rokid since it got $100 million in funding in 2018.
While new companies like Nreal, which is backed by Qualcomm, are coming out with stylish, light-weight glasses to attract early adopters, Rokid seems to have kept itself busy by looking into enterprise use cases, such as allowing field workers in the auto, oil, and gas, and other traditional industries to communicate remotely. Its X-Craft headset, for example, can handle explosions, water, and dust and can connect to 5G and GPS. And, like many hardware startups that rushed to offer contactless solutions when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, Rokid advertised smart glasses that could find the temperatures of up to 200 people in two minutes.
Rokid, which has about 380 employees, says it will use the new money for research and development as well as global expansion. This means that more of Rokid’s B2B services could be coming to developed markets. In fact, the company just hired a veteran of the energy industry to run sales in the APAC region.
The company wouldn’t name the investors in this round, saying only that they are “related ecosystem players.” This could mean that they are clients or partners in the supply chain. It wouldn’t say what its post-money value was.
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