SoftBank Group Corp. is in talks to invest in a STEM education and robotic startup Makebloc as per the sources said.
Makeblock is looking to raise about $60 million in a series C round by the end of the year 2017 with a target to double its valuation to $400 M. The figures are preliminary and could vary depending on negotiations. Moreover, no official statement has been released by any of the company.
Makebloc had earlier raised a funding of $30 million in Series B round at a $200 million valuation led by Evolution Media China and Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd.
Founded in 2011(as a company in 2013) by aircraft-design major Jasen Wang, Makeblock is a leading DIY robotics construction and programming learning platform for makers, hobbyists, STEM learners, and educators. Makeblock sells kits of mechanical parts and electronic modules that can cost as much as $800 to robot hobbyists and educators. Its products are used by more than 600,000 people, with more than 60 percent of its revenue generated from overseas.
So-called STEM-education could become a $15 billion market by 2020, according to Beijing-based consultancy JMD Education. Shenzhen-based Makeblock already works with SoftBank—the two partnered this month to offer a DIY drone, and the Japanese company distributes its educational robotics kits.