BEIJING, June 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On June 15, 2022, MegaRobo Technologies Ltd. announced that it has closed a ~US$300mm Series C financing, led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Asia Investment Capital, and GGV Capital, and co-invested by Sinovation Ventures (existing shareholder), Pavilion Capital, Starr Capital, U-Member Capital, RedView Capital, Harvest Capital and Taihe Capital. The proceeds will help MegaRobo continue its R&D investment, capacity increasing and global expansion.
In the past decade, R&D spending in life sciences industry has been driven by growth in small- and medium-sized biotech companies, strong capital formation and increasing contribution from APAC countries. Efficiency improvement and resource optimization are the top priorities for the development of life sciences industry. Artificial intelligence and robotic automation are natural solutions to address the challenge and potentially reset the efficiency standard for the next-generation life sciences laboratory.
Since 2016, MegaRobo has empowered life sciences industry with a complete suite of automation solutions ranging from benchtop workflow automation for simple work flow to fully automated platform for complex work flow in large system journey applications, further penetrating into the next-generation life sciences infrastructure system for R&D and AI drug development services. Addressing the rapidly increasing demand in labor shortage and throughput limit, MegaRobo’s workflow automation integrates different processes and applications by combining AI software, analytical instruments, hardware and consumables into one system. Successfully adopted in multiple countries around the world, MegaRobo’s products can significantly improve efficiency for clients compared to conventional approach in various life sciences applications including antibody selection, cell line development and molecular screening.
MegaRobo has collaborated with leading life sciences companies to build the infrastructure and platform to optimize R&D process and improve efficiency. In organoids, MegaRobo has partnered with CELLada to achieve high-throughput large-scale cultivation and testing. Various highly valuable organoid models have been successfully cultivated, such as heart organoids with 2-band beating and typical chambers, and brain organoids with ventricles and clear neural structures. In cell & gene therapy, MegaRobo has jointly developed integrated automation solutions for synthetic biology and biopharmaceutical R&D with Agilent Technologies. Together with AccuMea, MegaRobo has established an automated and standardized platform for detection and analysis of mRNA and viral gene vectors. In gene editing, MegaRobo has created a large CRISPR plasmid library through proprietary MegaMolecule and MegaCell platforms to standardize accumulation of cell phenotypic images and omics data, which has been proven to be ten times more efficient than conventional manual approach.
In addition to exploring frontier fields in life sciences, MegaRobo has also been actively providing total solutions to COVID-19. It has developed a fast-evolving and diverse product portfolio in a short period of time, which consists of high-throughput sample preparation system, fully automatic nucleic acid testing system enabling “sample-in, result-out”, fully automated mobile shelter laboratory as well as fully automated high-throughput antigen reagent preparation solution. MegaRobo’s platform can significantly reduce the infection risk among front-line medical professionals while greatly improving the testing throughput and accuracy.
Dr. Wang Chengzhi, Chief Scientist of MegaRobo, said: “MegaRobo has greatly improved the efficiency of biopharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing in many fields by deeply integrating intelligent and automation technology with life sciences. Through a large automated experimental platform, MegaRobo collaborates with multiple top institutions to build a standardized and structured biological database for the next-generation AI-driven research and development. This financing round will help MegaRobo further strengthen its closed-loop solutions in ‘Automation + Artificial Intelligence + Life Sciences’, and build the next-generation life sciences infrastructure featuring intelligent automation.”
Mr. Liu Erh Fei, Founding Partner and CEO of Asia Investment Capital, said: “We see great opportunities in automation and digitalization to improve efficiency and intelligence level in a wide range of areas. MegaRobo has established a leading franchise in the life sciences industry with recognition from leading players in the sector globally. MegaRobo has built strong capabilities in automation and artificial intelligence, has gained in-depth industry know-how, and is continuously exploring frontier technologies. We believe MegaRobo is well-positioned to expand the width and depth of its business, and will continue to be the driving force of efficiency improvement and value creation in the life sciences industry.”
Mr. Kevin Ding, an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs Asset Management focused on healthcare-related private equity investments, said: “The global life sciences automation industry has significant growth potential. We expect the rapid penetration of automation solutions to continue amid challenges in scaling up manufacturing and increasing hiring of R&D talent. MegaRobo has demonstrated continuous innovation in its technology and product offerings for clients. We look forward to leveraging our global network and resources to support the company’s continued growth and ambitions as a leader in this market segment.”
As a long-term supporting partner of MegaRobo, Sinovation Ventures’ partner Mr. Richard Yang said: “Under the opportunity of deep integration of AI and automation technology with advanced industries, MegaRobo has made great progress in the past few years. It has applied automation technology to greatly improve the efficiency of the biological and chemical industry and facilitate the upgrading of the industry with qualitative changes, and is extending its core competitiveness to other cutting-edge industries. As a partner witnessing this process, Sinovation Ventures has been touched and inspired a lot along the way. Being open-minded and down-to-earth, MegaRobo’s team continuously challenged, upgraded and transformed themselves in the past few years, forming the MegaRobo spirit of ‘Always Day One’. As more and more partners are introduced, MegaRobo has grown into a unicorn. But we believe this is just the beginning, and hope that more talents and partners will join this great cause to promote the progress of human life with technology and love.”
Mr. Daniel Huang, Founder and CEO of MegaRobo, said: “This financing round marks an important milestone in the development of MegaRobo. It is a great honor to team up with many top institutional investors and partners. We firmly believe that intelligent automation is an inevitable trend in life sciences industry. MegaRobo will continue to deeply consolidate its R&D and technological capabilities, and broadly explore empowerment opportunities in energy and chemical industry, food safety, applied chemistry, semiconductor and other fields with intelligent and automation technologies, in order to enable the upgrade and transformation of more industries and fulfill the mission to ‘create a more efficient, healthier and better world for everyone’.”