Porto-based Smartex has raised $24.7 million in a Series A round, announced 364 days since being crowned the 2021 winner of Web Summit’s PITCH competition.
The startup uses hardware-enabled, machine-vision-driven software to detect textile defects as they’re being made. By identifying rejects at the point of origin Smartex is able to reduce textile waste, CO2 emissions, energy, water, production time, and capital expenditure by automatically shutting down production in order to prevent the waste of materials.
Smartex plans to expand its business to new markets and geographies, with the $24.7 million. Likewise, the startup is aiming to develop additional product lines designed to aid manufacturers and fashion brands in improving control of their products while increasing textile quality and traceability.
With the World Economic Forum reporting that the textile and fashion industry is the 3rd most polluting industry in the world, it’s easy to see just how important and why Smartex took the top spot in Lisbon last year. An estimated 150 billion garments are produced annually in this $3 trillion industry, accounting for 20% of global water waste and 10% of global carbon emissions.
“Our customers are just as engaged as we are with the products we are building,” commented Smartex co-founder and CTO Antonio Rocha. “In order to create solutions to best serve them, we are always listening and open to their feedback. Together we are working on a new era of high quality, waste-free manufacturing which will lead to improved transparency and traceability across the textile supply chain from yarn to retail.”
Lightspeed Venture Partners and Tony Fadell’s Build Collective led the oversubscribed round with H&M Group, DCVC, SOSV’s HAX, Spider Capital, Momenta Ventures, Bombyx Capital Partners, Faber and Fashion for Good participating.
“We are privileged to be in a very unique position to add intrinsic value to a giant industry that is fundamental and touches so many lives, fueling our mission to sustainability and profitability of textile factories worldwide. With our technology and talent, we will be able to pioneer a new chapter in the fashion industry and ultimately to reduce waste and costs,” said co-founder and CEO Gilberto Loureiro. “All efforts are necessary to generate a positive impact as we strive to solve this global challenge and contribute to a more sustainable world.”
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