Flexxbotics today announced that it has completed a $2.9 million Series A funding round. The Boston-based company said it plans to use the capital to accelerate the global commercialization of its cloud-based manufacturing management software.
“Flexxbotics is focused on the mission of helping discrete manufacturing companies complete their digital transformation,” said Tyler Bouchard, co-founder and CEO of Flexxbotics. “These companies have struggled with the challenge of connecting ERP [enterprise resource planning], MES [manufacturing execution systems], and other modern business systems with the legacy production equipment on the shop floor.
“Our vision is to change that by providing a turnkey tool kit to seamlessly connect robots, CNC machines, PLCs [programmable logic controllers], and other manufacturing with each other through a shop-floor communications mesh,” he said.
Flexxbotics reduces complexity
Founded in 2018 by Bouchard and Tyler Modelski, chief technology officer, Flexxbotics is a Northeastern IDEA spin-out. The company launched its first set of robot productivity tools in 2020. Today, they are used in almost 100 companies worldwide. Flexxbotics' advisors include John Joseph, co-founder and CEO of Datanomix, and Scott Harris, co-founder of SolidWorks and OnShape.
Flexxbotics said its platform is intended to reduce the complexity in running discrete manufacturing operations. Its embedded Bluetooth mesh network can seamlessly connect enterprise business systems with the manufacturing floor, creating a path to digital transformation and enabling Industry 4.0, claimed the company.
The system provides a no-code tool kit that lets manufacturers have a tighter grip on process control, capture relevant operations data, and automate setup, said Flexxbotics. The platform can improve robot performance by providing intuitive digital workflows, robot productivity tools, and holistic workcell data collection and analysis, the company said.
Flexxbotics said its digital workflows enable operators of any skill level to setup and configure collaborative robot work cells. Its productivity tools are designed to help users deploy or redeploy robots, increasing robot utilization.
Angel investor supports direct approach
eCoast Angels led Flexxbotics' Series A round. One of the most experienced and active angel groups in New England, eCoast Angels focuses on early-stage companies developing advanced technologies.
“Flexxbotics was appealing to us as investors because they are taking a novel approach to connect information from business systems directly with the devices/machines in shop-floor workcells,” said Peter Schroer, a member of eCoast Angels. “This has long been a critical gap for manufacturing companies, and we expect rapid adoption of their product in the coming months as the company rolls out its new technology.”
As a resident member of MassRobotics, Flexxbotics plans to use the consortium's shared robotics and CNC resources to continue developing its platform. It will also take advantage of MassRobotics' extensive network of robotics suppliers, startups, and experts.