Rice Robotics, a Hong Kong-based workforce automation start-up, has successfully secured $7 million in pre Series A funding.

Rice Robotics said in a statement on Monday that a portion of the funding has been allocated to establish a production plant in Hong Kong.

By utilizing this investment, the company aims to bolster its manufacturing and supply chain capabilities and position itself for expansion into the promising Japanese market.

Backed by the recent funding, Rice Robotics has established a state-of-the-art production plant in Hong Kong, which has commenced operations since the first quarter of 2023.

The facility, located in Tsuen Wan’s industrial area and covering a vast area of 13,000 square feet, has quadrupled the company’s annual production capacity.

This significant expansion enables Rice Robotics to meet the surging demand for its products and services, not only in Hong Kong but also on a global scale.

Demonstrating its commitment to supporting local talent and fostering domestic manufacturing, Rice Robotics emphasizes that all delivery robots will be entirely designed and manufactured in Hong Kong.

“We aspire to showcase to the world that Hong Kong possesses a robotics company capable of producing first-tier service robots,

“Our aim is to nurture talent locally and contribute to the advancement of Industry 4.0 in our hometown,” said Victor Lee, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Rice Robotics.

Lee also emphasized that Japan has emerged as Rice Robotics’ largest market, surpassing Hong Kong.

This significant shift is attributed to the rising demand for disinfection and delivery robots in the post-COVID era, according to him.

Recognizing this trend, he said the company aims to deploy an increasing number of robots in Japan to meet the growing demand and capitalize on the market opportunities.

“Rice Robotics’ success in Japan serves as a testament to its unwavering commitment to innovation and excellence within the robotics industry,” he added.

According to the statement, Rice Robotics has strategically targeted the Japanese market renowned for its adoption of service robots.

With the expanded production capacity facilitated by its new plant, the company said it is well-positioned to achieve its goals and establish a prominent presence in the robotics industry.

It is noted that Rice Robotics has made significant strides in Japan, showcasing the versatility and reliability of its RICE delivery robots through notable partnerships.

Since January 2021, RICE robots have been efficiently delivering 7-Eleven products to Softbank employees at the company’s new headquarters in Takeshiba, Tokyo.

This pilot program for last-mile deliveries is a joint initiative between Softbank and 7-Eleven.

Rice Robotics has also collaborated with Japan Post Group to deploy five delivery robots for last-mile deliveries in a residential area in the Chiba prefecture since March 2021.

This implementation marks Japan’s first practical implementation of robotic deliveries, showcasing the potential of Rice Robotics technology.

Following successful implementations at Tokyo Midtown Yaesu and Mitsui Garden Hotel Kashiwa-no-ha Parkside in 2022 and 2023 respectively, Rice Robotics is also providing its delivery services to Mitsui Garden Hotel too, highlighting the trust and satisfaction derived from Rice Robotics’ solutions.

RICE robots have also found an innovative application at Toyota’s virtual showroom in Tokyo, where they serve guests with beverages, offering them a futuristic and engaging experience.

Rice Robotics’ plans to establish a production plant in Hong Kong and expand its footprint in Japan have received strong support from its investors.

“We invested in Rice Robotics because of Victor’s unwavering passion, visionary leadership, and ability to navigate challenges to bring about mass adoption of robots,

“It’s an honor to support Victor and his team as they continue to innovate and lead the way in the robotics industry,” said Billy So, Founder of Soul Capital and an early investor in the company.

With the backing of committed investors, Rice Robotics said the firm is well-positioned to achieve its goals and continue its growth trajectory.

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