Disrupting fragmented electronics supply chain with design automation, CELUS rakes in €25 million

The German platform uses machine learning to reduce laborious, time-consuming engineering and composition times for circuit diagram, board design and component selection
Disrupting fragmented electronics supply chain with design automation, CELUS rakes in €25 million

Munich-based deep tech company that uses AI to streamline circuit board engineering, CELUS has raised €25 million in funding. The investment will allow CELUS to further prioritise rapid growth with a strong focus on the U.S. market and further enlarge its technology leadership. 

Within every electronic product (from toothbrushes to television sets, computers to coffee machines) exists a circuit board containing hundreds to thousands of tiny hardware components - each with their own specifications, price and availability. Until now, circuit boards have been designed manually using an engineer’s experiential knowledge and their research of necessary components. This leads to very complex, time-consuming, and iterative design cycles to get to the final design and component selection.

Founded in 2018 by Tobias Pohl, Alexander Pohl, and André Alcalde, the deep tech company aims to automates electronic circuit board design using AI. The company claims its cloud-based engineering platform dramatically reduces laborious, time-consuming composition times whilst connecting electronics engineers to manufacturers and crucial material components.

CELUS makes the design of electronics accessible to many more engineers, facilitating direct information flows between electronic component manufacturers and their customers.

The Series A oversubscribed round was led by Earlybird Venture Capital, with participation from DI Capital and existing investors Speedinvest and Plug and Play. The funding was also backed by Sir John Rose (former CEO of Rolls Royce), Sir Peter Bonfield (Chairman of TSMC and NXP), Carl-Peter Forster (CEO of Opel, GM Europe, and Tata Motors); Paul Gojenola (Electronic Engineering Lead at Google); Martina Koederitz (former CEO of IBM Germany and Global Industry Business); and Koenraad Crooijmans (former Investment Banker at Morgan Stanley).

According to the startup, over 1,800 engineers already use the CELUS tool as of today, an increase of 3,000% compared with December 2021.

Talking about the new funding, CELUS co-founder and CEO Tobias Pohl said: “This fresh round of funding allows us to grow our user base globally and open a CELUS office in the U.S. – positioning us in the heart of the electronics industry. We want to reach every electronics designer out there, enabling them to focus more time on innovation and creativity, while our software reduces the tedious and time-consuming tasks they were dealing with before.”

Andre Retterath, principal at Earlybird, who is joining the CELUS board, added: “The electronic supply shortages triggered by Covid have, more than ever before, revealed the faultiness of one of the largest and most important global industries. Having observed this market for several years, we strongly believe that CELUS, with its engineer-first approach, is best positioned to lead the horizontal integration of the broken and fragmented electronics supply chain - enabled by design automation.”

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