Belgium's Oqton scores $40 million to 'disrupt manufacturing' with a cloud-based production platform

Belgium's Oqton scores $40 million to 'disrupt manufacturing' with a cloud-based production platform

Oqton, a young 'Industry 4.0' company started by a duo of former Autodesk executives, has secured more than $40 million in Series A funding in a round led by B2B software investment firm Fortino Capital, PMV and multinational engineering group Sandvik.

Based in Belgium and the US, Oqton says the fresh cash will be used to expand its cloud-based manufacturing software platform and explore strategic partnerships around the world.

The startup's platform combines several manufacturing software capabilities (CAD, PLM, CAM, IOT, MES, QMS) into a single platform, and is sprinkled with AI capabilities to enable a next level of automation and optimisation, Oqton claims.

Users can automatically capture knowledge and eliminate repetitive tasks, access technologies remotely and across multiple sites, and optimsze production planning to improve utilisation and quality. Customers can also link the Oqton platform to their traditional technologies, such as CNC, welding, and post-processing machines.

Oqton was founded in 2017 by Samir Hanna, a former VP at Autodesk, and Ben Schrauwen, who joined Autodesk 7 years ago when his startup was acquired by the Silicon Valley giant.

Also worth noting: Carl Bass, the former CEO of Autodesk, also invested in the round as an angel investor, as did Dries Buytaert (another Belgian entrepreneur, known for creating Drupal and Acquia), and Peter Mercelis (Layerwise).

Coinciding with the funding round, Schrauwen is stepping up to take over the CEO role from Hanna, who will serve as the startup's executive chairman instead.

Says Hanna: "We can already achieve 100% automation in the dental and jewelry verticals, resulting in 30% overall cost reduction. Given the platform strategy, the software can be targeted to many specific industry verticals, like dental, jewelry, medical, industrial and aerospace, as well as to different personas and workflows within those industries."

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