For smaller manufacturers to take advantage of automation, they need easy-to-use design and deployment tools. Vention Inc. yesterday announced the closing of $95 million (U.S.) in Series C financing. The Montreal-based company offers cloud software and a modular hardware ecosystem to help high-mix manufacturers to implement industrial automation. It said it plans to use the funding to grow marketing efforts, expand global distribution, and accelerate the development of its platform.
“Democratizing industrial automation is an ambitious mission, considering the $180 billion market,” said Etienne Lacroix, CEO of Vention. “With 80% of manufacturing plants in the U.S. having little to no automation, we're at the dawn of a new era.”
“Current manufacturing floors are made of a multitude of robot arms, conveyors, sensors, and tooling equipment,” he added. “Each component has its own compatibility standards, programming language, and point of sales. Vention has emerged as the one platform where clients can do it all: design, automate, order, and deploy. Such integration lowers the barrier to accessibility that is needed to democratize the industry.”
Founded in 2016, Vention said its Web-based platform enables manufacturers to automate production floors in just a few days. The company, which has opened offices in Boston and Berlin, serves more than 3,000 customers across five continents and across 25 sectors.
Vention cuts design-to-deployment time
Vention said its digital manufacturing automation platform (MAP) combines a suite of easy-to-use engineering software and plug-and-play automation components. Manufacturing professionals can design, order, and deploy automated equipment by themselves directly from their browsers, it claimed.
Clients can save on costs associated with systems integration services, which are typically a significant investment hurdle for small and midsize businesses seeking to automate, said the company.
Moreover, the single-platform approach to the design-to-deployment workflow cuts the usual project time from months to days. This allows customers to benefit from industrial automation much faster than with traditional approaches, according to Vention.
Since Vention's inception, the complexity of designs created on its self-serve platform has increased by 4x, and it now includes end-to-end robot cells, assembly lines, and automated equipment. The company said that more than 12,000 pieces of manufacturing equipment have been designed and deployed using MAP.
MAP cuts across verticals
Vention said its platform has horizontal coverage across many industries, inducing aerospace, automotive, industrial goods and machinery, medical devices, food and beverage, and construction materials. Clients have used the platform to create everything from robot cells and assembly lines to proprietary automated equipment and tooling.
Each year, Vention adds new capabilities to MAP to serve a wider range of use cases. Most recently, it released code-free robot programming capabilities, which let users program their robot in the cloud, order the entire robot cell, and deploy it on their manufacturing floor entirely through its platform.
“Such a level of integration provides a user experience that is unmatched in the industry,” said the company.
Georgian leads Series C round
Georgian led Vention's Series C round. Certain funds of new investor Fidelity Investment Canada ULC joined the round alongside existing investors White Star Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and Bolt Ventures.
Since closing its Series B funding, Vention has reported annual growth of 2.9x as of Q1 2022. In the same timeframe, the company expanded its headcount from 100 to 260 employees.
Vention said it will have further announcements about plans for its Series C proceeds in September at its annual product-launch event, Vention DemoDay.
“We are excited to deepen our partnership with Vention as they create new opportunities for manufacturers of all sizes to access industrial automation and robotics like never before,” said Emily Walsh, lead investor at Georgian. “We have seen firsthand how Vention delivers integrated software and hardware innovations, such as palletizing, conveyor, and robot tending applications, that foundationally transform their customers' manufacturing operations.”
Toronto-based Georgian invests in high-growth companies, bringing together software entrepreneurs, machine learning experts, experienced operators, and investment professionals.
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