Emerging Technology Insider
Machina Labs, stealth pioneer in manufacturing through robotics and AI raises $16.3 million
Machina Labs Exits from Stealth with Series A, Bringing Total Raised to $16.3 Million Company will use funds to grow its team, expand R&D and manufacturing capacity
Machina Labs, a pioneer in advanced manufacturing through robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), today emerged from stealth and announced it has closed a Series A round of financing, bringing the total raised to $16.3 million. Innovation Endeavors led the round with participation from Congruent Ventures and Embark Ventures. The funds will be used to significantly grow Machina's team in Los Angeles and to expand its R&D and manufacturing capacity to meet rapidly increasing customer demand.
"Manufacturing must be reinvented to keep up with the pace of change in this highly competitive market," said Edward Mehr, Machina Labs CEO and co-founder. "We're excited to finally reveal Machina Labs' manufacturing platform, which combines the latest advances in robotics and AI to democratize access to rapid manufacturing so that anyone with a great idea can manufacture parts quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. These software-defined, robotic facilities are the factories of the future, and we're thrilled to have our investors on board to help us get there."
Founded in 2019 by an experienced team with deep domain expertise, Machina Labs has been working behind the scenes to blaze new trails in a manufacturing market that's ripe for disruption. Unlike the IT industry, with its embrace of rapid iteration and fast design lifecycle to accelerate innovation, manufacturing continues to rely on traditional processes that are rigid, slow and expensive. In some industries, the manufacturing design lifecycle can be as long as seven years — a major hurdle in product development. In the sheet metal forming industry, a current area of focus for Machina Labs, dies and stamping machines are multi-million-dollar investments, with design-specific tooling costs to set up a stamping line reaching up to $1 million for a single design. These impediments put manufacturing largely beyond the reach of all but a select few industrial giants.
Some of Machina Labs' current customers are in the aerospace and defense industries. Having completed pilots with NASA and the U.S. Air Force, the company is now working on commercial engagements. With NASA, Machina Labs is working to achieve optimal efficiencies in tank design — something not easily done using traditional processes. The company is also delivering on its vision to create factories of the future not just on earth, but also in space. It has begun work with NASA on using its technology for in-space manufacturing — a necessary precursor to a multi-planetary future.
With the U.S. Air Force, Machina Labs' technology is accelerating the development of composite molds and the production of parts in applications such as drones. The U.S. Air Force is investing in technologies that generate leap-ahead capabilities, and actively pursuing new and innovative ways to enable agile, affordable and accelerated functionality that ensures a global strategic advantage.
Unlocking Manufacturing through AI and Robotics Machina Labs is reinventing manufacturing plants by applying AI and robotics. Similar to an experienced craftsman using a hammer to create sheet metal parts, company robots use AI-driven sensor data to incrementally manipulate sheet metal to form parts. Machina Labs' Los Angeles factory provides flexible, on-demand, software-defined manufacturing-as-a-service to a variety of different industries, supporting rapid deployment and scale-up with no upfront investments in tooling. It even enables the remanufacturing of parts and components that are no longer in production, and for which machinery or dies are no longer available.
Machina Labs also helps businesses overcome supply chain issues by bringing manufacturing to the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, manufacturing has experienced a 60% increase in disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic — more than any other industry. This has triggered a push to move critical manufacturing processes stateside. But doing so introduces new problems when using traditional factories, such as higher-priced products due to companies' inability to take advantage of the cost efficiencies they enjoyed in other countries.
Machina Labs makes it possible to eliminate many of these supply-chain bottlenecks through its cost-effective, fast and efficient manufacturing processes. This includes replacing capital expenditure costs in tooling and dies, while preserving and creating new jobs.
"We're living through a critical moment in manufacturing and expect much to change coming out of the supply chain madness that COVID instigated. Manufacturers and end-product companies alike are looking for technology to help make them more efficient and adaptable. While these two goals were historically in tension, Machina Labs unlocks both," said Sam Smith-Eppsteiner, partner at Innovation Endeavors. "We see huge opportunities for Machina Labs to disrupt engineering and design for metal parts, making the process faster and more iterative. But, we also believe that Machina will transform the production of parts for low- to mid-volume by reducing the manufacturing costs, time-to-market and inventory holding costs for tooling."
For Machina Labs, the market opportunity in reinventing sheet metal forming is significant. Based on an analysis of savings in material production, component manufacture and product use, Machina Labs' technology could save an estimated $12.3 billion per year in the U.S. when fully deployed.
Machina Labs is looking to significantly expand its team in Los Angeles. Current employees have worked at America's most innovative companies and organizations, including SpaceX, Microsoft, Google, Northrop Grumman and Stratasys.
For a current list of job openings at Machina Labs, please visit www.machinalabs.ai/careers.
About Machina Labs Machina Labs is reinventing manufacturing with on-demand, software-defined factories of the future. Using AI and robotics, Machina Labs introduces previously groundbreaking flexibility to manufacturing beginning with the aerospace, automotive and defense industries. The company is rewriting a centuries-old narrative in manufacturing to reduce lengthy design lifecycles and enable greater agility at a significantly lower cost in highly competitive markets. Based in Los Angeles, Machina Labs has raised $16.3 million from Innovation Endeavors, Congruent Ventures and Embark Ventures.
For more information, visit machinalabs.ai.
About Innovation Endeavors Innovation Endeavors is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in visionary founders, transformational technologies and emergent ecosystems. The firm's central investment thesis, the Super Evolution, combines data, leading-edge computation and advanced engineering to transform industries, from agriculture and logistics to life sciences, transportation and more. Its investments include: AlphaSense, Astra, Color, Blue River Technology, Eikon Therapeutics, Fabric, Formlabs, Freenome, Planet, Rebellion, Replica, SoFi, Uber, Upstart, Vicarious Surgical, and more.
For more information, visit www.InnovationEndeavors.com.