Founder and President
Oceanalpha Co., Ltd.
A huge fan of ship models since his childhood, Yunfei worked with several classmates to develop an unmanned surface vehicle (USV) while the majority of his peers in the postgraduate program at HKUST were focused on building drones. He soon realized that there was a large and untapped demand for USVs in the environmental and water resources sectors of China, which led him and his teammates to found Oceanalpha Co., Ltd., the first company in the world to produce USVs for the purpose of environmental protection and monitoring.
After several years of R&D, Oceanalpha launched its first product, a USV that could operate without the use of a remote control and automatically avoid any obstacles in its path. This USV and subsequent models have revolutionized environmental protection activities such as collecting garbage and monitoring water quality: not only are they able to work in dangerous conditions and cover a large area to conduct patrols, search and rescue missions, and underwater terrain mapping, but also can drastically reduce the time needed to perform these tasks. In just a few years after its establishment, Oceanalpha has become an industry leader in the field.
The early stages of financing were difficult for the team: the high cost of investment in R&D, coupled with minimal assets, made raising funds for the company a herculean task. In 2014, Oceanalpha received only 1 million yuan in bank loans. Recently, however, the company has reached a turning point: with investments from venture capital firms, Oceanalpha is now valued at over $1 billion yuan.