One example of shocking growth, the three-year-old Chinese robotics firm Geek+ grew from being a warehouse robot startup like Kiva to being the top native provider of automation logistics in China.
China is the biggest market for industrial automation on earth, which means the relatively new company has grown at a mind-boggling pace. Robotics was on the list of sectors China planned to dominate in a plan launched in 2015 called Made in China 2025.
Government incentives and investment helped the market blow up. Geek+ is some of the most solid evidence that the 2025 plan is going well. It has kept a relatively low profile because it doesn’t put much effort into bragging about its tech portfolio, focusing on building market share with support from the government, and significant funding.
Units sold is the metric that matters in an industry crowded with novelties no one wanted. That said, Geek+ has shipped thousands of industrial robots to logistics centers and warehouses all over Asia.
Alongside the announcement of a laser-guided picking robot, Geek+ will, in a sense, debut itself to the tech world at MODEX, the biggest conference on supply chain in North and South America. An announcement of global expansion is expected as well.
The company secured $61.5 million in funding, and plans to start up a new manufacturing facility later this year, with the suggestion that this will double its units produced to 10,000 per year.
Taking a market perspective, its credible that non-Chinese automation suppliers are about to get hip-checked as the nation races to counteract rising wages with more robot labor. Should Geek+ be indicative of an overall trend, native robotics companies are on their way to stopping the gravy train for their foreign counterparts.
Historically, Asian rivals such as South Korea and Japan have outpaced China in robotics development. That has led to state efforts to encourage native growth, and keep their spending onshore. Robotics was on the list of sectors China planned to dominate in a plan launched in 2015 called Made in China 2025.