Orcauboat Raises CNY 100 Million for Unicorn Bid in Civilian Unmanned Boats

Financials, Automotive, Technology Author: Yiru Qian Editor: Yuehan Li Jan 19, 2024 02:29 AM (GMT+8)

AIGC's breakthrough in large model technology has triggered fundamental changes in the "information-model-action" dynamics, propelling us into a new era dominated by "intelligence." This trend is rapidly manifesting in the physical world through intelligent terminal machines, with industries like smart electric vehicles and vertical take-off and landing aircraft gaining traction.

Go out to sea and ride the wind and waves

EqualOcean has exclusively learned that Orcauboat recently completed a billion-yuan Series B funding round, aimed at accelerating the development and industrialization of water surface autonomous driving technology. The company aspires to become a unicorn in China's civil unmanned vessel sector, positioning itself as a leading player across technology, product, and commercialization.

The funding round was led by Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund, Skyview Fund and Xi'an Finance Investment Management under the management of the well-known investment firm Gobi Partners.

The proceeds from this round will be allocated to three key areas: technology research and development, market expansion, and team building. Orcauboat aims to enhance its core competitiveness in water surface autonomous driving technology, extend its market reach both domestically and internationally, boost brand influence, and attract top talent to solidify its position as a unicorn in the civil unmanned vessel industry.

Founded in 2017, Orcauboat has steadfastly pursued its vision of "autonomous driving for a better water environment." The company focuses on the research and development of water surface autonomous driving technology, spanning applications in unmanned environmental protection vessels, autonomous driving tourist boats, and intelligent vessel systems. Its products have been sold to nearly 10 countries, covering 50 cities and 100 water bodies, including reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and nearshore areas. The cumulative unsupervised sailing distance has reached 650,000 kilometers, placing the company at the forefront of the industry.

Orcauboat provides global customers in the industry with safer, more efficient, intelligent, and environmentally friendly solutions for intelligent water area operation and smart waterfront economy. Its solutions contribute significantly to optimizing water area operation methods, enhancing waterborne operation safety and efficiency, and reducing operating costs. Applications include water area cleaning, algae harvesting, water quality testing, water surface inspection, and digital river and lake management.

On the industrial side of the value chain, Orcauboat has successfully developed a series of standardized intelligent vessel systems by integrating cutting-edge technologies such as autonomous driving, IoT, and big data with traditional shipbuilding. These systems feature functions such as autonomous navigation, intelligent obstacle avoidance, remote control, and autonomous return and docking. They provide standardized solutions for the application of water surface autonomous driving technology in new industries.

After years of rapid development, Orcauboat has built unique advantages in technology, products, market, team, and capital in the unmanned vessel sector.

The company has consistently focused on the intelligentization and autonomy of water surfaces, covering core hardware modules, software platforms, and water surface autonomous driving algorithms. Its research and development have achieved all-round perception in water surface scenarios, precise autonomous positioning under different conditions, and adaptive control in complex water conditions.

Orcauboat has established a water surface autonomous driving data engine, forming an efficient closed-loop process for the entire data cycle. It has accumulated tens of millions of data points and released the world's first water surface floating garbage dataset and the first inland water unmanned driving dataset. The closed-loop data system supports continuous iteration of water surface intelligentization and autonomy technology.

Tailoring its products to the specific characteristics of different industries, Orcauboat has developed two series of six products. In the water environmental protection sector, it has created four unmanned environmental protection boats ranging from 2 to 5 meters, dedicated to water surface intelligent maintenance. In the cultural tourism sector, it has developed two intelligent cruising boats, primarily used for scenic spots and lakes sightseeing excursions, water shuttle, water logistics and other scenarios, to promote the water environmental protection and the waterside economic upgrading.

Tang Qibo, Managing Partner of Gobi Partners, commented, "With the advent of the era of large models, the rapid development of the autonomous driving and robotics industry, represented by intelligent terminals, from the listing of humanoid robots to the explosive application of drones and unmanned vehicles, the intelligent terminal on the water surface is an important scenario that cannot be underestimated. As a potential unicorn in the field of civil unmanned vessels, Orcauboat has innovatively launched phenomenal products around water surface environmental protection and cultural tourism scenarios, rapidly landing and developing standardized intelligent vessel systems. We believe that Orcauboat will become an absolute leader in this field as the water surface intelligent terminal erupts, covering the industrial value of artificial intelligence robotics, environmental, social and governance value of water environmental protection, and economic value of consumption upgrade."

Cong Zhen, Founding Managing Partner of Skyview Fund, stated, "The era of electrification and intelligence in China's water surface intelligent robots and civil vessels is on the horizon, and 2024 will be the 'first year of water surface intelligence' in China. Skyview Fund is optimistic about Orcauboat's approach to entering the field with unmanned driving water surface cleaning robots and intelligent manned tourist boats. We also appreciate CEO Zhu Jiannan's leadership of the young and outstanding team, their long-term accumulation and daring spirit in this field. With both innovative spirit in research and development and practical capabilities in customer-oriented operations, we believe Orcauboat can become a leader in the water surface electrification and intelligence revolution, allowing China's vessels to travel worldwide."

The success of this funding round will inject powerful momentum into Orcauboat's continued development, solidifying its position as a global leader in the civil unmanned vessel industry across technology, products, market applications, team, and capital.