Article: KEYi TECH from a business perspective


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An article about the business side of KEYi TECH that is full of detailed insights.

It’s a mammoth article, translated from Chinese Mandarin to English via Google translate.

Image source: KEYi TECH

What is the secret to the success of Chinese robots going to sea?

In today's increasingly close economic globalization, Chinese enterprises going overseas has become an irresistible trend of the times.

There are always leaders and trendsetters from all walks of life who keenly capture business opportunities, accurately predict future trends, accumulate and summarize effective strategies, and lead Chinese brands to resonate at the same frequency as the world's economic context.

For these sea-going explorers, Xiaguang Society launched the "Xiaguang Figure" series of planning , focusing on their overseas experience and industry experience, and sharing their trend insights and opportunity prospects.

This issue is the fourth in the series. Xiaguangshe talks to Can Technology CEO Yang Jianbo. He shares his experience and views in the field of new technology going overseas.

Author | Guo Zhaochuan

Editor | Song Han

Image source: KEYi TECH

Yang Jianbo's WeChat profile picture is a black and white stick figure of a full-body male: slightly short hair, square eyes on the bridge of the nose, and a plaid shirt that highlights the characteristics of an engineering man.

This portrait is very similar to a real sketch of his own image.

His brain is thinking quickly. It is obvious that Yang Jianbo, who can break the circle in the technological innovation track, is a leader of rational thinking.

"There are several kinds of difficulties encountered in going out to sea: one is that it doesn't work at all, and if you know it's not going to work, don't do it, and there is no difficulty; One is to do it well," Yang Jianbo said.

Seemingly very complicated and inexplicable problems, in Yang Jianbo's case, all turned into a minimalist diagnostic tool flow chart. Similarly, when a decision needs to be made, he often lists almost all options, tries and eliminates them one by one, and finally arrives at the correct answer in a very scientific way.

The biggest advantage of this flowchart-like way of thinking is that it is "not entangled". All plans and judgments can be carried out in an orderly direction.

As early as when he was studying at Beihang University, Yang Jianbo won the first prize of Beihang Fengru Cup by relying on the original version of the "deformable cell robot", and represented the school to participate in the Beijing Science and Technology Industry Expo that year. After accepting the award, he was still shy when speaking, but when he talked about his modular robot, his eyes were full of excitement.

Yang Jianbo registered "Beijing Can Technology" in 2014 when he was 23 years old.

In the school's laboratory, he and his classmates "kneaded" a brand-new robot in only 15 hours. This kind of robot iteration that pursued the limit fascinated him. Before graduating from university, his first finished robot "Cell Robot" was launched on the market. Immediately after its launch, he won the "Best of CES (Global Electronics Show Best Robot)" award from the BBC, and then won the Copenhagen Entrepreneurship Award Business Competition Champion.

In 2017, Yang Jianbo was selected as one of Forbes China 30U30 (30 under 30 China) and Forbes Asia 30U30 (30 under 30 Asia). Since then, he has also appeared on the news broadcast by relying on the R & D and production of the world's first educational modular robot, which "holds the core technology firmly in his own hands".

Can Technology CEO Yang Jianbo

After the launch of Loona, the latest generation of home consumer robot of Can Technology, Yang Jianbo started a new round of crowdfunding on the well-known overseas crowdfunding platform "Kickstarter".

ClicBot, another robot that was launched before, once received a crowdfunding amount of around US$1 million. As for the newly launched robot Loona, the original expected amount of overseas crowdfunding is 3 million US dollars.

This goal is very challenging. "Of course there is an element of gambling, but there are also data as a basis for judgment." Yang Jianbo said that he is very confident in his company's new products. "In fact, I have a certain understanding of the project, and I can deduce some from the previous conversion data."

In the end, the total amount of Loona crowdfunding exceeded 3 million US dollars, becoming the No. 1 crowdfunding list of consumer robots on Kickstarter.

In addition to the excellent results on overseas crowdfunding platforms, the Tiktok account that can be operated with technology has also gathered millions of foreign fans.

In a short video, a flexible companion robot puppy froze in front of a lit lighter, then quickly backed away and raised its left arm to express its rejection. Like a real puppy, the robot in the video nods in approval after fanning it to cool it off.

On Tiktok, such a short video has reached 8.6 million (8.6M) views—this is the popularity of Loona overseas.

As the Chinese R&D and designer of the robot puppy Loona, Yang Jianbo told Xiaguang News Agency, "The account operation can't be done on behalf of us, we do it ourselves, and most of the videos are shot in China (Beijing), and the number of views overseas It's not affected either."

In fact, Can Technology is headquartered in Haidian District, Beijing. Its first store in the world has opened in Beijing CBD International Trade Mall, and it has also opened offline stores in SKP, Lufthansa and other shopping malls. However, the main sales markets of its CellRobot, ClicBot, Loona and other intelligent robots are basically overseas.

Therefore, the operation of overseas social media such as overseas independent stations and TikTok is very important when going overseas.

Xiaguang Club had a dialogue with Yang Jianbo, CEO of Can Technology, on the topic of "new technology going overseas to North America" . He expressed his views and opinions on how to create new products overseas, overseas crowdfunding and marketing of new technology products, and how domestic robots go to the world.

About the sea market

Xiaguangshe: Why did you choose North America as the main market for launching robots? What are the main application scenarios for overseas users after purchasing robots?

Yang Jianbo: We are a consumer robotics company and have been developing robotics since 2014.

There are currently two main products: Libao and Loona. ClicBot has been developed since 2018 and will be launched in early 2020.

Loona is like a pet puppy who can only issue commands in English now. At the same time, it can also be used as a monitor to remotely check the situation at home. As a remote home monitoring, you open the APP, and you can check what the cats and dogs are doing and what the children are doing through the Loona camera.

The Klippo Mastermind can control the rotation of the sphere, control the action with contacts, and supply power to all modules through the Mastermind. Its current programming actions, some are official configurations, and some are the creativity of players. If you are interested, you can also create a brand new configuration, do a new program, and program it as you want it to move, with a high degree of freedom.

Our main overseas consumer groups are robot technology enthusiasts and teenagers.

These two robots are also sold in China, and Tmall are selling them, and we also have offline stores in China World Mall. But our current consumers are mainly in the North American market. In addition, our products are also selling well in the German and British markets, ranking second to North America.

Overseas application scenarios of the robot dog Loona
Image source: KEYi TECH

About Overseas Crowdfunding

Xiaguangshe: Why did you consider starting crowdfunding on Kickstarter, and what are the final results? Which domestic projects are suitable for the overseas crowdfunding platform to take the first step overseas?

Yang Jianbo : Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform, it can be said that it is the largest crowdfunding platform in the world, and it is relatively mature. Other well-known crowdfunding platforms include Indiegogo, etc. Crowdfunding platforms in Japan are relatively mature, for example, Makuake is one of the most well-known crowdfunding platforms in Japan.

Most of the active users on the platform are technology enthusiasts, people who like to try new things and are willing to wait.

We can also simply understand it as pre-sale: when the product is still in the concept stage or research and development stage, but it has already begun to introduce and raise funds to the public. If the public is interested, they can order this product in advance, and then use the money to push the product into mass production and finally deliver it to everyone.

Innovative technology products are very suitable for crowdfunding platforms. Crowdfunding is a particularly good opportunity, which is equivalent to a market test to see if people like your product and whether people will buy it or not.

There are actually all kinds of strange things on crowdfunding. According to the top 100 financing records of Kickstarter, most of the high-selling products are actually mature categories. The more common products suitable for overseas crowdfunding include 3D printers and so on in the early history.

At present, overseas crowdfunding platforms are relatively popular, one is weeding and snow removal robots, and the other is mobile power.

And our products belong to the new category of the overseas track. From the first Klibao crowdfunding launch, the crowdfunding was close to 1 million US dollars, and the second Loona reached the goal of 3 million US dollars.

From the perspective of the entire robot category, Loona is now ranked third in the history of the entire platform. The top two are weeding robots, which are practical robots and are different from our user portraits. In this dimension, our new product has created a history of crowdfunding, and it is "the best of the best".

About overseas independent station operation

Xiaguangshe: Your overseas independent website has been revised many times, how did you adjust it? What do you think are the overseas categories that are suitable for independent stations?

Yang Jianbo : Brands going overseas know that overseas traffic in a broad sense mainly comes from several paths: one is Paid Ads, which is paid advertising. The other is driven by traffic and video content, including YouTube, Tiktok, etc., as well as online and offline drainage and so on. In fact, there are only a few models for overseas promotion. You can list them one by one, cross out the ones that are not suitable, and adopt the ones that are suitable.

We also did Amazon in the beginning. But Amazon's traffic is more suitable for the model of "people looking for goods", and our products obviously do not conform to this model, and it is difficult to produce results, so we chose to focus on independent stations and offline.

Coupled with the fact that the epidemic in the past few years could not be done offline, there is almost only the way to stand alone.

The core of an independent station is to test the stickiness and loyalty of customers (Loyalty).

The core of iteration is to study your users and clarify the list of functions of your product from the perspective of users.

Our independent website has actually changed a lot, and the experience we have gained is to speak from user data. For the first version of the design of the independent station, the independent station is often designed based on the understanding of users and products that have been considered in the past. But with the operation, some new data will be learned. For example, how long does the user stay on a certain page, how long does a video play, etc., to find the problem.

But not all companies are suitable for independent stations, and independent stations are more suitable for the "high customer unit price" consumer product model.

Some products are very expensive per customer, and more user answering services are needed to generate product value, and some things need to become community fission.

For example, you have a large amount of rich content in your hands, but how do you convey this content to users? In fact, "heavy services" cannot be carried on Amazon-the Amazon dialog window cannot carry it. Amazon, on the other hand, knows nothing except that someone bought a set of goods to send to this place.

You can operate users on an independent site. Your site is not only to display and sell products, but also to provide services. The independent station user will fill in his personal information, fill in his email or address.

However, if your own product itself is a mature category, and the product cannot support the entire product matrix and user stickiness, the customer acquisition cost of an independent station will be very high.
Image source: KEYi TECH

An 8.6M overseas short video playback volume

About TikTok short video operation

Xiaguangshe: For your TikTok social platform interface, why did you choose self-operated instead of agency operators? Why can you do it in "a sea of red"?

Yang Jianbo : In TikTok, video traffic and dissemination are its only indicators. In the early days, you don’t care whether it converts or not, as long as it can bring enough user touch.

For short videos, content is king, and the content must be interesting. On each platform, the content suitable for different brands is not the same.

First of all, it is necessary to dig deep into the product features and review the video. Our research found that videos that use Loona to show interactions with people are more likely to be liked and followed. Simply shooting a video of a robot may not perform well. In this way, we can analyze the rules to design more interesting content.

Researching a class of products takes time and costs. Most of the proxy operation companies on the market only do superficial content. The agent operator, he will not spend a month or two to thoroughly research your product before promoting it - the agent company may know how to promote clothes, but most of the agent companies do not know how to use robots.

And our Loona product has the attribute of companionship, it has a sense of life, has piercing eyes, and interacts with its expressions. He can play with you, interact, shake hands, play games with you - you can take a bullpup and it will rush over.

What kind of feedback will you get when you touch it, the robot will avoid obstacles when it detects, etc., all of which can be edited. This provides a lot of content for our short video platform.

From the cost side, the input cost is relatively small, which is almost negligible compared to other TikTok input costs.
Image source: DoNews/ KEYi TECH

1.1M followers & 6.6M likes

Enlightenment and Comprehension of Going to Sea

Xiaguang Society: What things did you do right to allow you to survive and live well? What are the references for other new technology companies going overseas?

Yang Jianbo : I think that most of the overseas products on the market are mature categories, that is, products that have been iterated by using the original domestic value advantages and product design advantages to go overseas. There are not many real "new categories going overseas".

There may be some positioning mistakes in the initial stage of new technology products, but it must be improved immediately through iterations: product positioning optimization, pricing adjustments, marketing strategies, video production content promotion directions, brand image definition, etc., all need to be quickly improve.

Taking pricing as an example, it is necessary to use the price sensitivity test model to conduct research on thousands of user situations, and analyze the upper and lower limits of price pricing in several different situations from the perspective of user psychology.

In short, if you want to build a successful new product overseas, you must do most things right in almost the entire chain.

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