Intelligent hardware in the eyes of investors: supply chain management is a big pit

The field of intelligent hardware with a virtual fire has begun to calm down. Wang Lijie, a partner of PreAngel, the first investor in the country to seize the tide of smart hardware, said in an interview with the reporter of China Business News that there are still problems of “zero profit” sales and short product cycles in the field of intelligent hardware. Entrepreneurs still need Avoid "pseudo-demand" and face the complexity of smart hardware startups. At the same time, there are more opportunities for innovation around UAVs, AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality), and robotics.

There is still a chance here

The core technology of the drone

"We have caught up with this wave of heat. Recently, Yihang has merged with the valuation of 360 million US dollars. Now it is full of the world, and countless people are doing drones." I have invested in Yihang and Lily drones. Wang Lijie, a partner of PreAngel, told the reporter of China Business News during the “Feasting and Smart Hardware Venture Capital” that although many “star” drones were very successful, drones were in the fields of industry, agriculture and forestry. The opportunities for applications, as well as the core technology layout around drones, are still huge.

"The core algorithm around the periphery of the intelligent hardware, the related technology of sensing, is also very good. It is not necessary to do the drone, you must make the plane. You can make the layout around the core technology in the aircraft, and solve the problem that others are not solved well. Something.” Wang Lijie gave a few examples.

One is to automatically avoid obstacles. "In this respect, Lily has not solved it, and it still needs people to control it. Now many people are also studying it. For example, some machine vision technology can identify obstacles and is useful for drones and cars."

The second is flight control, engine and so on. "Many drones don't have flight controls and engines. The other drone we invested in is oil-burning. We have to go to Australia to customize the engine and weigh 120 kilograms."

The third is radar speed measurement technology. “We invested in a 4D radar in Silicon Valley and 360, which can track the speed of objects and is the three-dimensional information of the three-dimensional space of the object. The previous radar speed measurement is only two-dimensional, relatively fuzzy, and the speed error rate is 20%. Now if this four-dimensional radar is placed In drones and cars, you can increase the accuracy of autonomous control of autonomous walking."

Panoramic shot for VR service

Another big fire in the field of intelligent hardware is AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality). Wang Lijie said that Oculus made the helmet to watch the fire, but the hardware for producing the contents of the helmet is lacking. One of them is the panoramic camera, which is how to make ordinary people take a panoramic video and bring a helmet anytime, anywhere. Can share with others.

"We have seen the best one. They can capture a 360-degree panorama before and after the two cameras. Unfortunately, we didn't invest in it. There are people in this field who have taken it. After wearing AR and VR helmets, they see 3D. The Oculus we first saw was 2D. When you put on a 3D device, the immersive situation is hard to describe.” Wang Lijie also said that in addition to shooting equipment, it can also do things like post-processing and rendering. So that Xiaobai users can produce, and even some people have studied how the copyright of these panoramic content is handled. "When we do smart hardware business, don't be too limited to that big one, many small pieces can participate, and a lot of things can be derived."

Robot and artificial intelligence

From the perspective of the capital market, Wang Lijie said that the most popular robot is the robot. “There are a lot of companies that do robots have gotten a lot of money, and I’ve heard that many big brothers are also doing robots, and this area includes humanoid robots and artificial intelligence.”

Wang Lijie said that robots will be widely used in the vertical field. PreAngel has invested in a hotel robot project with Silicon Valley and GoogleVenture.

“They made the robot very friendly. Its instructions, actions, and scope of action were all in a specific area. When the robot was deployed, the hotel scanned and recorded the space, floor, environment and map of the entire hotel. To renovate the elevator, the robot can open the elevator by itself, press the elevator, and automatically connect to the floor to go. The door will directly call the phone in your room. After seeing you, it will open the cover by yourself. Inside is what you need. Wang Lijie believes that robots are currently solving a small robot, not too broad, such as a robot that receives users in retail stores, can identify customers, ask for needs and bring customers to shop, as well as robots and families such as patrol security. A robot that accompanyes the elderly.

Intelligent hardware

Need to circumvent the trap

Despise the supply chain

As one of the earliest angel investors who focused on smart hardware, Wang Lijie also learned a lot.

“The earliest smart hardware I invested in was the Tuman watch. Many people know that this watch was bought last year and has not been sent for more than a year. In the process, we discovered that behind the intelligent hardware, production supply chain management. A big pit." Wang Lijie told reporters that some suppliers seem to support entrepreneurs very much, but when they actually do it, they are "a mess". Actually, they find that the screws are not right on the production line. Many things have to be replaced. Redesign.

Wang Lijie said that smart hardware is also facing a lot of uncertainty. Sometimes, after things have been fired for a while, others don’t buy it, and after some things have gone through the fire, in theory, they can continue to sell better, but they are not. Exclusion is actually not enough.

"It is still necessary to do research and conduct an investigation objectively, to understand whether the market demand of the product itself is going up or down, whether it is real or illusory, and how big the crowd is. It cannot be said that this thing must be socool." Wang Lijie Said to the "First Financial Daily" reporter.

"Zero profit" sales

Another strange circle in the smart hardware industry is that even without money subsidies, many projects are selling at the so-called “zero profit”. In the early days, they did not dare to increase profits, fearing that they could not sell them, fearing that competitors would be cheaper than themselves.

"This can only rely on financing, and financing ability is a fatal problem. Most people do not have such a big bluffing ability, or they really do a small and beautiful product, and really solve the needs of some people." Wang Lijie agrees with health. The model is still to add the right profit and then sell it, even though it’s really a little bit beautiful and will not be fired by the media for a while. "Those who are mad at burning money and investors are stupid to give money subsidies are extreme examples. We still have to find some valuable points, even if we solve some of the more extensive needs such as diabetes."

Technology is everything

Another pit to do smart hardware is: I think everything has technology.

"We have some skills to take advantage of martial arts. Looking at other people's 50 million yuan, that is 100 million yuan, there is no technical content, but he can't get the money, because investors can't understand what he does." Because most investors are innovative in the business model, and a small number of people who can understand the technology, but also consider the circumstances of the big environment, do not touch this core technology." Wang Lijie said that usually IQ is too high, The talents who master the core technology have no products, no products, no models, no sales, no management. "If you don't tell a story, it will be difficult for people who are tech entrepreneurs to take money. People are very good and very real. They just can't get the money, and it doesn't matter if they have feelings."

"Why is Nest bought by Google at a high price? It has not cooperated with any real estate company, and has not cooperated with any B-side. The most important thing is marketing. Why did Lily fire in the past some time? A bunch of investors lined up to vote for it. The product has not yet been valued at $100 million? Because it is already a world-renowned company with strong marketing capabilities.” Wang Lijie believes that although smart hardware is a real product in itself, brand and marketing capabilities are very important.

The links involved in intelligent hardware are very complicated. Entrepreneurs need to spend more time researching the specific needs of target users. It is not a simple questionnaire survey, or more in-depth understanding. One-on-one visits to thousands of products before making products. The user gets the first hand information. For entrepreneurs who are not good at design, management, supply chain management, financing, marketing, etc., they need to find partners to focus on their own functions and core technologies.

Regarding the development of intelligent hardware, Huang Leping, a high-tech industry analyst in Nomura China, was more inclined to think that it was a big company to burn money and burn a road when interviewed by the reporter of China Business News. "There must be a big company." Rushing in front, it burned out.

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