April 20, 2022
SoftBank Robotics Group has announced its strategic equity investment in Avalon SteriTech, which aims to strengthen the companies’ collaboration since the joint venture was established in March 2021. Upon the completion of the transaction, SoftBank Robotics will own approximately 5% of Avalon’s disinfection business.
Kenichi Yoshida, the chief business officer of SBRG, will join the board of directors to support the continuous growth of the company. The transaction is expected to close by the end of April 2022.
Avalon and SBRG said they continue to see a strong demand for robotic disinfection technologies, and how they raised the bar of cleaning and disinfection in combating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The two companies said they will strive to innovate smart-cleaning products and customized solutions in Hong Kong and beyond, leveraging Avalon’s strength in biotechnology and healthcare, and SBRG’s expertise in AI, automation, and robotics.
The companies launched the Whiz Gambit, a two-in-one AI-powered cleaning and disinfection robotics solution, extending its footprint from Asia Pacific to EMEA, and are now forging ahead to Australia, United Arab Emirates, and the U.S. The companies said Whiz Gambit has been widely adopted by the public sector, hospitality, commercial and healthcare industries, with more than 100 of the robots serving the city’s extensive railway network in Hong Kong.
“We are excited to deepen our strategic partnership with SoftBank Robotics Group, the worldwide leader in robotics solutions,” said Lewis Ho, CEO of Avalon SteriTech. “Since last year, we have been working closely in accelerating the adoption of smart disinfection solutions and uplifting the public health standard that transcends conventional concepts of hygiene. The investment from SoftBank Robotics will bring tremendous momentum to our global market expansion, as we continue to work hand in hand with businesses, governments, and societies to safeguard the health and well-being of millions of people around the globe.”
The strategic partnership will also focus on creative product development, with Avalon launching a new disinfection robot for mass transportation later this year. Currently, the robot for the sector serves Cathay Pacific Airways and MTR’s Airport Express for daily disinfection.