Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. plans to invest in a Chinese robot maker company. Moreover, the Japanese bank is in talks to invest in Makeblock Co., a Chinese maker of DIY robotics. Nevertheless, SoftBank and Makeblock abstained from commenting regarding the news.
Makeblock seeks to raise $60 million
Makeblock seeks to raise about $60 million in a Series C round by the end of this year as it targets a doubling of its valuation to $400 million. In fact, we are not sure about the authenticity of the figure.
Though Makeblock doesn’t have wide range popularity it competes with many companies like, Pearson PLC, Lego Group, and Sony Corp. However, all of these companies want a slice of a learning industry that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math. According to research, the STEM-education could become a $15 billion market by 2020, according to Beijing-based consultancy JMD Education.
Shenzhen-based Makeblock already works with SoftBank — the two partnered this month to offer a DIY drone, and the Japanese company distributes its educational robotics kits.
STEM education, which employs a problem-based approach to education, is tapping into Chinese parents’ craze for their children to learn coding and robotics. Makeblock has created a local competition equivalent to the Intel Corp.-backed RoboRave contest.