Rehab robot startup ZD Medtech raises over US$14m from Series B

3 min readFeb 15, 2023
Photo courtesy of ZD Medtech

ZD Medtech (卓道医疗), a Shanghai-based startup making rehabilitation robots, recently announced a Series B round of funding valued at more than 100 million yuan (US$14.65 million), VC Beat, a healthcare-focused media outlet, reported today.

Redhill Capital and Hengxu Capital led the round, followed by Shunwei Capital. The proceeds from Series B will be used to step up work in R&D, market entry and scale-up production in the area of comprehensive smart rehab.

Founded in 2015, ZD Medtech has built a variety of intelligent rehab comprehesive solutions known as ZD Medtech Smart Ark, comprising occupational therapy (OT) and upper limb rehab solutions, PT (physical therapy) and lower limb solutions and dozens of “world-leading” rehab robots, gadgets and software. Many of them have already received an FDA certificate.

In the next two years, the company plans to release another dozen products to the market, providing users with all-encompassing solutions on the back of a rich product matrix.

A number of startups have established a foothold in smart rehab robotics amid China’s fast-graying population and a severe shortage of qualified physiotherapists.

Wang Daoyu, founder and CEO of ZD Medtech, said that after eight years of tough research, he expects the company’s employees can retain their passion about innovations in rehabilitation. He also expressed the hope for ZD Medtech to become a leading smart rehab business at home and abroad.

“I believe the latest round of financing will significantly speed up the commercialization of our company’s innovative products and solutions,” Wang said.

ZD Medtech’s core products have been adopted by close to 1,000 rehab departments at general hospitals and specialized rehab hospitals nationwide, including some top-tier institutions.

By combining rehabilitative prescription with a robot-assisted therapy system, ZD Medtech claims to have helped patients regain their mobility, physical coordination, joint range of motion and cognitive ability, improving the health and life of those in need and also greatly enhancing the efficiency of rehab specialists.

A participant in the drafting of national standards on upper limb rehab training robots, ZD Medtech has built a systemic, structured and multidisciplinary technological platform and a mature product innovation system with full proprietary intellectual property rights, according to a company press release.

“ZD Medtech is focused on exploring clinical applications and needs. It has developed multiple new-generation smart rehab products and acquired a good reputation thanks to its outstanding engineering- and product-oriented technologies, ” said Lu Qinchao, founder and managing partner at Redhill Capital, a lead investor. “We are optimistic about ZD Medtech’s potential and believe under its current management, the company can evolve into a leader in smart rehab and inject more vigor into the industry.”

Lu Yongtao, chairman of Hengxu Capital, another lead investor, added that rehab medicine stands to benefit from surging needs and state policy support. His venture fund looks to double down on this sector as it becomes digitalized, with senior care increasingly being given via digital therapies.

“Currently, rapid advances of digitalization and smart technologies have created huge room of imagination for addressing the shortage of premium rehab medical resources,” said Li Rui, a partner at Shunwei Capital. “ZD Medtech has led the development of rehab medicine with deep insights into clinical needs and a suite of intelligent rehab products that deliver exceptional innovations and user experience.”

The competition in China’s rehab robot market is heating up, with Fourier Intelligence (傅利叶智能), another supplier of robot-empowered smart physiotherapy, leading the way. Fourier is a Series D startup backed by big-name investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2, IDG and Aramco’s Prosperity 7 Ventures.