On March 20th, Cowos robot became the first batch of sweeping robots in China through the conference.
Of course, the “share first” here is a bit of a joke. After all, throughout the domestic sweeping robot market, except for Xiaomi and Kovos robots, other manufacturers are either listed traditional appliance giants or from abroad. Therefore, “the first unit of sweeping robots” is beyond reproach, but its gold content is not high.
This time, it is even more noteworthy that, as an intelligent hardware company, Cowos Robotics took only three months to go public. It has made a good start for the subsequent listing of intelligent hardware enterprises. It is certain that in the near future, there will be more intelligent hardware companies landing in the domestic stock market. However, is this really appropriate?
What are the lessons from the suspension of the “Intelligent Hardware First Stock”?
It may be a pity for the company that Covos Robotics is not rated as the “first stock of domestic intelligent hardware”. This title has been occupied by Lexin Medical, which went public in 2016.
As a company operating the smart bracelet business, the listing of Lexin Medical has also received industry attention. However, its fate after listing has the significance of alerting future generations.
In November 2016, Lexin Medical was listed at an offering price of 15.63 yuan. Later, it experienced 18 trading limits. As of the close of February 22, 2017, the stock price of Lexin Medical soared to the highest point of 159.3 yuan. But this has also become the peak of Lexin’s stock price, which has been fluctuating and falling since then; So far, the stock price of Lexin Medical has dropped to 20.35 yuan, close to the issue price.
In its financial report for the third quarter of 2017, Lexin Medical lost 3 million yuan and its net profit decreased by 105% year on year. At the beginning of this year, Lexin Medical, which announced the establishment of a blockchain laboratory, was questioned and suspended by the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. So far, it has not resumed trading.
Through the case of Lexin, it is not difficult to find that the sales performance of intelligent hardware products often fluctuates considerably. After the emergence of popular products, the company’s performance will increase significantly in a short time; However, in the long-term R&D process, the company’s performance will often decline, or even suffer losses. At present, the intelligence hardware manufacturers on the market are also relatively shallow. They do not have as rich product lines as traditional home appliance giants, so their self-regulation ability is also insufficient.
Although Lexin Medical has timely proposed a new layout in areas such as chronic diseases, sports, and health management after the stock price fell and profits shrank, and hopes to shift its focus more to the big health field to boost investor confidence, the effect is not very satisfactory; In particular, the proposed blockchain layout led to its own downtime.
Of course, from the perspective of the Cowos robot, the situation is not so pessimistic. Unlike bracelets, the market has a longer demand for intelligent sweeping robots, and this product also more intuitively improves the quality of life of consumers, so it can serve as a long-term profit point.
In early March of this year, the state relaxed the listing policy for unicorn companies in the four major industries and lowered the listing threshold for intelligent hardware companies. However, this does not mean that it has lowered shareholder horizons. If the company’s experience after going public fluctuates, it is bound to affect the confidence of shareholders, which in turn affects the stock price and the company’s operation.
Going public is still a priority for smart hardware unicorns
There are risks after listing. Is the stock market still suitable for financing intelligent hardware enterprises?
The answer is yes.
On the day of the Cowos meeting, a new round of financing needs emerged from Dajiang. The world-class consumer drone manufacturer hopes to raise up to $1 billion at a valuation of $15 billion. In November 2017, Ubisoft, a domestic consumer AI robot research and development company, also completed a round C financing, with a financing amount of $40 million and a valuation of about $5 billion. It can be seen that the financing amount of these intelligent hardware unicorns has reached hundreds of millions or even billions of yuan.
The operating costs of these companies mainly come from two aspects. On the one hand, the products of these companies have entered the market. In the competition with similar products, the advertising expenses of C-end consumers will become one of the huge burdens for enterprises. Unlike other AI technology companies that engage in To B business, the market for consumer products cannot rely on word of mouth, so smart hardware product companies need to be prepared to “burn money” for advertising.
On the other hand, it is the R&D cost faced by the technology enterprises. Taking Covos Robot as an example, according to its prospectus, the company’s R&D expenses in 2014 were 68.51 million yuan, 84.17 million yuan in 2015 and 98.18 million yuan in 2016, accounting for about 3% of the total R&D expenses. On the other hand, iRobot, the largest competitor of Kovos in the field of home service robots, has maintained the proportion of R&D investment in the main operating income at 12% – 13% every year from 2011 to 2016. This situation is likely to change with the listing of Covos.
In addition to the large capital requirements of intelligent hardware product companies, domestic investors also have sufficient expectations for these companies. Currently, intelligent hardware products mainly come from three types of companies, namely start-up companies, traditional household appliance companies, and Internet technology giants. Internet technology giants represented by BAT, JD.com, and NetEase are mostly listed overseas or in Hong Kong, and domestic capital cannot be reached; Traditional home appliance companies often pay more attention to the application of new technologies in their original products, and their technology acceptance is not high; Most startups are in their early stages of establishment, making it difficult to enter the stock market.
Therefore, Kovos robots and more intelligent hardware products companies will enter the domestic stock market in the future, injecting fresh blood into the latter. https://store.stoneitech.com/ in the final analysis,
The introduction of the four major categories of unicorn IPO policies in the Report represents the support and expectations of the state for technology enterprises, but this does not fundamentally affect the established business philosophy of enterprises. Companies willing and able to go public benefit from policies that accelerate the pace of expansion; Enterprises and entrepreneurs who are not yet ready to enjoy such preferential policies must resist the temptation.