Bright Machines raises $132M to fuel robotics-powered manufacturing automation systems

Bright Machines raises $132M to fuel robotics-powered manufacturing automation systems

San Francisco-based Bright Machines has announced that it has raised $132M in debt and Series B equity funding. The company, which is providing an innovative approach to intelligent, software-defined manufacturing automation, will use the funds to improve its Brightware software and expand its services, partner network and customer base.

Bright Machines plans to introduce an Integration Hub in Guadalajara, Mexico later in 2022 and a U.S.-based Customer Experience Center in San Francisco, California in early 2023.

“We founded Bright Machines with a singular mission to enable our customers to transform the way they have historically approached product assembly. We are excited to partner with the industry in creating a more streamlined ‘design-to-make’ process in which every product can be manufactured closer to the end consumer. In today’s unpredictable, global environment, this mission is more important than ever,” said Lior Susan, CEO and co-founder of Bright Machines.

Eclipse Ventures led the $100 million in equity funding. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley Bank and Hercules Capital led the debt-based funding, totaling $32 million. To date, the company has raised $311 million in funding.

Some of Bright Machines’ accomplishments in the past four years include:

  • Developing the Bright Machines Microfactory to automate the final assembly of electronic goods.
  • Launching the Brightware Platform to power Bright Machines Microfactories and provide operators with the ability to monitor, run and control assembly lines.
  • Deploying over 100 microfactories in thirteen countries and doubling bookings from 2021 to 2022
  • Helping clients achieve important success metrics, including 65% fewer defects per production run and up to 75% more units per hour.
  • Reducing carbon intensity by 51% per unit or 5.5 MMtCO2 each year with its technology. That’s the equivalent of planting 6.5M trees annually.
  • Receiving various industry awards, including Forbes America’s Most Promising AI Companies, Inc. Best in Business: Manufacturing and the American Business Awards Tech Startup of the Year: Software.

“By offering an intelligent automation platform that is fast, flexible, and cost-effective enough to scale with their customers’ businesses, Bright Machines is uniquely positioned to address a critical gap that has persisted in manufacturing for several decades,” stated Greg Reichow, partner at Eclipse Ventures. “Its software-driven microfactories are key to moving production operations into a future that does not rely on highly repetitive and labor-intensive processes.”

The company provides services to over forty global manufacturing companies with research and development Field Operation Centers in San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Guadalajara, along with additional support in North America, Asia, and Europe. These include OEM customer relationships, EMS (electronic manufacturing services) and ODM (original design manufacturer) partners.

Analysis

Many startups are addressing discrete aspects of manufacturing, with sensors, edge servers, and computer vision among the more common products being developed. Bright Machines’ combination of robotics, software and compute resources to power ‘micro-factories’ is an interesting example of edge computing powering Industry 4.0 applications. After pulling a planned reverse merger less than a year ago, the fresh round of funding is an encouraging development. Still, it will be a challenge to get potential customers to deploy capital in the midst of supply-chain issues, inflation, and cost-cutting issues, but building more efficient manufacturing operations through the use of robotics and software is an idea that might help Bright Machines weather this latest economic storm.

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