Digital twin solutions provider Yunlu Technology secures series A round to help China achieve CAE software self-sufficiency
Digital Twin technology, mirroring real-life scenarios in a computer-generated simulation, has been ranked by research institute Gartner as top 10 strategic technology trends from 2017 to 2019. Gartner believes that the Digital Twin technology is at the peak of an inflated expectation period that will produce disruptive innovation from 2019 to 2024. In 2021, the market size of Digital Twin was approximately 7.47 billion USD. That number is expected to rise exponentially and reach 26.46 billion USD by 2025.
Simply put, a Digital Twin model allows users to run simulations, interact with it, and make optimized plans for real-world operations. “Over time, digital representations of virtually every aspect of our world will be connected dynamically with their real-world counterparts and with one another and infused with AI-based capabilities to enable advanced simulation, operation and analysis,” says Gartner analyst David Cearley.
Traditionally, CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering) software has been dominated by industry titans such as Siemens, Microsoft, Dell and Ansys, making China heavily dependent on foreign technology. In times of geopolitical unrest, such a dependent relationship can become a hurdle for Chinese enterprises. Meanwhile, as demand for domestic software surges, a breeding ground for Chinese software makers such as Yunhu to grow has presented itself.
Yunlu Technology, a Beijing-based digital infrastructure solutions provider, recently announced the closing of its series A round of financing, backed by Guangjianke, a venture of digital building platform service provider Glodon, and Cornerstone venture capital. Yunlu aims to create self-sufficient CAE softwares and explore more applications such as engineering, aerospace, and automobile in the future.
Founded in 2015, the company has previously released Digital Twin platforms, YunXi and YunFei. In 2020, Yunlu launched YunXi, a platform combining AI, 5G and IoT technology, serving fields such as transportation infrastructure construction, operation and maintenance, urban security and emergency response, digital government construction, environmental governance, etc. A year later, YunFei, a “Finite Element Internet” service was introduced. Yunlu’s Digital Twin platforms count Huawei, China Earthquake Administration, China Railway Construction, and China Communications Construction as partners or clients.
Yunlu partnered with Huawei’s Cloud EI business unit in 2018, to provide a Digital Twin service for highway construction near Beijing’s new Daxing Airport. The accuracy of Yunlu’s Digital Twin service reached 90%, securing the safety and efficiency of the construction process.
With the rise of 5G technology, more Digital Twin possibilities are waiting to be explored in China. Among them, city planning, healthcare, and transportation have huge potential. The market size of China’s smart city planning is expected to exceed 1.3 trillion by 2023, while smart healthcare and smart transportation is expected to exceed 150 billion yuan and 700 billion yuan respectively in 2022.
Since 2020, Digital Twin has been acknowledged as one of seven “new generation digital technologies” by Chinese authorities. According to official notices, Digital Twin technology will constitute a critical part of China’s digital infrastructure initiative, allowing traditional enterprise and economy to transform into a digital one, thus the development of “twinfrastructure” should be promoted.
Currently, a number of cities and provinces in China have rolled out regulations, incorporating Digital Twin technology in future city planning. Namely, Hainan plans to become the number one Digital Twin province by 2025, while Zhejiang has proposed to build Digital Twin communities.