Daedalus raises $11.5M Series Seed to build the world’s first autonomous and flexible factories
The Y Combinator alum closes funding round led by Lee Fixel's Addition, with participation from existing investor Khosla Ventures.
San Francisco, CA/Karlsruhe, Germany — November 17, 2021 — Daedalus, a technology company building the world’s first autonomous and instantly reconfigurable factories, today announced its $11.5 million Series Seed financing round, led by Addition. Existing investor Khosla Ventures also participated in the round.
Daedalus was founded by former leaders of OpenAI’s robotics division, engineers hailing from SpaceX, and industry veterans from global players in precision manufacturing. Daedalus is currently ramping up its first autonomous factory for high-precision mechanical components and is already producing parts for customers in the automotive, machinery and medical device industries. The funding will be used to accelerate Daedalus’ growth strategy, hypercharge production capacity, and further advance the capabilities of its proprietary software that allows fully autonomous production of bespoke precision components.
“Before Daedalus, production robots needed to be painfully programmed and re-programmed again for every new task or object. The effort of programming them currently limits their use to mass-produced items – industries with batch sizes in the dozens or hundreds still rely on manual labor by expert machinists. Our software-driven factories make high-precision manufacturing scalable and bring the efficiency of mass production to high-mix manufacturing,” said Jonas Schneider, CEO of Daedalus.
Addition Founder Lee Fixel said: “Daedalus’ innovative, software-defined approach to manufacturing enables end-to-end autonomy even in the most challenging production environments, such as high-precision machining. We believe this breakthrough technology will enable a new generation of industrial automation that offers an innovative solution for the plethora of companies that still rely on skilled production labor.”
Bringing automation to an industry in desperate need of innovation
From prototypes for automotive components to customized machinery, manufacturing companies across verticals rely on precision parts. However, the supplier landscape of this $100B market is highly fragmented and 80% of suppliers have less than five employees. As a result, companies face inefficient and opaque purchasing processes, unreliable supply chains and high costs, and these challenges have compounded since the COVID-19 pandemic. Daedalus solves all these issues through end-to-end automation.
“The lights-out factories of Daedalus are helping companies cope with an increasing demand for product personalization and innovative design-led products. Daedalus’ network of autonomous and distributed factories will enable true just-in-time manufacturing independent of batch sizes,” said Sven Strohband, Daedalus investor and Managing Director at Khosla Ventures.
The Y Combinator graduate startup is already supplying parts to corporations in the medical and machinery industry, automotive OEMs and suppliers as well as “hidden champions” – highly specialized world-market leaders in Germany.
“What most of our customers have in common is a track record of difficult supplier relations and the strong desire for an improved, technology-enabled supply chain. Daedalus customers receive parts within a couple of days at a fraction of typical costs. And because our entire production process is digital, we are able to provide full transparency to our customers. Producing parts with Daedalus should feel like machining them in your own on-premise infrastructure, with real-time monitoring and control— but with the flexibility and scalability of outsourced production,” CEO Jonas Schneider explains.
In addition to growing its German-based factory, Schneider has already laid his eyes on international expansion. Once the integration of Daedalus’ automation technology is completed, he and the team plan on setting up a network of factories across the globe to serve customers in North America and Asia.
Daedalus’ vision doesn’t stop there. “What we’re building is the core software for the next generation of industrial automation. Our technology enables a software-defined flow from task requirements to robot and resource planning and execution, and is independent of the manufacturing process and type of machine. The potential economic value in automating these massive amounts of manual labor in manufacturing is virtually unlimited.”
Daedalus builds lights-out factories for precision parts. Our AI-enabled robots democratize the benefits of mass production and enable companies to build more personalized products. Our mission is to transform the supply chains of thousands of companies and liberate highly skilled production workers from repetitive tasks.
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