Robo 3D partners with Chinese distributor to launch Asian expansion spree

Robo 3D ASX RBO Asia China market

Personal 3D-printer distributor Robo 3D (ASX: RBO) is embarking on a global expansion spree by establishing a presence in several Asian countries including its most prolific consumption generator: China.

After establishing its international sales team in April 2017, Robo 3D is aiming to expand its sales footprint into more than 50 countries by mid-2018, with Robo 3D now represented in 40 countries across five continents, including recent expansions into key strategic markets such as Australia, UK, and now China.

Not a bad increase from only 5 countries in December 2016.

Given this footprint expansion, Robo 3D says it “expects the revenue contribution from international markets to contribute to over 20% of total revenue in 2018.”

In an update to shareholders, Robo 3D said it has agreed its latest distribution partnership for expansion of its products into China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia via a partnership with Xi’an Elite Robotics Co. Ltd, a leading distributor of high-tech products in Asia. Xi’an is a well-known supplier of 3D printing solutions and services for powerhouse 3D-printer manufacturers including Stratasys (SSYS: NASDAQ) and Formlabs.

Robo 3D said that the reason for its Asian expansion plans was the “result of growing demand for Robo’s 3D printing products in international markets,” with Xi’an now becoming the first official distributor of Robo 3D products in China.

This deal means Robo 3D products will be marketed to a wider audience thereby providing the tech company with added market exposure and greater sales revenue potential.

It also ensure Robo 3D’s Chinese customers will access the same customer service benefits and after-sale care currently being offered to European and North American customers.

Market impact

Upon announcement of today’s news this morning, Robo 3D shares rose by 17% to trade at $0.042 in mid-afternoon trade on the ASX.

Its Asian expansion plans have been a high priority for Robo 3D given how quickly the region is developing into a mature market.

“[The] key to the strategy is aligning with local partners who share the same focus on customer support and servicing as we do. With Xi’an, we have partnered with one of the leading distributors of emerging technology products into China, with deep experience in 3D printing and a strong focus on education,” said Ryan Legudi, Managing Director of Robo 3D.

To demonstrate its capabilities and to “kick-off this relationship,” Robo 3D plans to showcase its products alongside Xi’an at the 12th Guangzhou International Mould & Die exhibition, commencing on 4 March 2018 in Guangzhou, China.

AsiaMold is a large professional trade show that will be attended by over 25,000 people with exhibitors from industries including automotive, electronics, home appliances, airline, telecommunications, consumer goods and medical devices.

The event will bring together some of the most innovative 3D printing solutions globally, as well as attracting a host of potential industrial customers that are keen to implement 3D printing into their manufacturing processes.

Robo 3D distribution summary

In addition to today’s announcement, Robo 3D has several other pre-existing distribution agreements in Asia.

In Hong Kong, Robo 3D signed a distribution agreement with Beets Limited, a specialist provider of 3D printing solutions to Hong Kong customers. Beets is primarily focused on delivering STEM-focused solutions to the education sector, with 3D printers forming the core of its service offering.

Robo has also entered a reseller agreement with Pebble3D, who plan to become the “only one-stop solution centre for 3D printing solutions in Malaysia,” providing supplies and after-market support services for fully assembled 3D printers, 3D scanners and other consumables.

Finally, Robo 3D has an agreement with SEACAD Technologies Pte Ltd (SEACAD) to promote and distribute its products in Singapore.

SEACAD is the largest SolidWorks reseller in Singapore and has expanded its product offering into adjacent segments including 3D mechanical and electrical design, piping, finite element analysis/simulation, CNC manufacturing, and rapid prototyping including 3D printing.

Filip has written in both Australia and abroad during his career, covering everything from the global economy, politics and geopolitical issues to commodities and small cap stocks on the ASX.