London-based CloudNC has raised $45 million in a Series B funding round. The software maker provides the brains and operating instructions that enable factories to autonomously manufacture precision parts. Having now raised a total of approximately $78 million, the Series B capital is slated to be used to further develop its service offering, particularly through a new partnership with Autodesk, as well as expand its Essex-based manufacturing facilities.
Precision parts and their associated manufacturing processes perhaps aren’t something on your mind on a daily basis. Until they fail, break, and/or need to be replaced. From automotive and aerospace to consumer electronics to arms, defense, and information security, chances are, there’s a precision manufactured part somewhere involved.
For all the advancements humankind can boast in terms of automation in recent years, the most delicate of processes, ones where faults are measured in microns have been left to time-tested methods including CNC machinery and the dedicated engineers who know how to programme one. An artform that hangs in the balance as an aging workforce hasn’t seen the replenishing numbers needed to maintain or surprise the current pace.
CloudNC’s solution effectively replaces the ‘manual’ equation in the CNC manufacturing process and allows any user in any location to upload a 3D model of any desired part and the software will determine the tools required, how they will be used, and drafts the procedural code needed by a CNC machine in order to complete the task.
"When people think of manufacturing, they tend to think of robotic car factories, and don't realise that the industry is dominated by craft processes reliant on dwindling expert knowledge. This makes it incredibly complex to get things made, stifling the pace of innovation," explained co-founder and CEO Theo Saville. "Our solution radically simplifies and democratises precision manufacturing.”
CloudNC’s $45 million Series B round was led by Autodesk and saw the participation of Lockheed Martin and British Patient Capital, alongside existing investors Atomico, Episode 1 Ventures, and QVentures.