Fictiv secures over $33m in Series C funding
Technology leader Fictiv has closed a US$33mn Series C funding round to accelerate its transformation of contract manufacturing into a global digital ecosystem that will enable fast, flexible hardware product development and production.
Led by G2VP and new investor Mitsui & Co, returning partners include Accel, Bill Gates, Intel Capital, Sinovation and Tandon Group, bringing the company’s s Fictiv’s total investment to $58mn. The funds will be used to accelerate its work to digitise and automate the manufacturing workflow, where its cloud-based contract manufacturing platform works to deliver increased transparency, reduces the resources required for supply chain management, and lowers the cost to access manufacturers.
The business is responsible for an array of operations, including 3D printing, injection moulding, automatic design for manufacturability, as well as housing US and APAC service teams led by manufacturing experts.
Core initiatives for the company include: investment in its cloud infrastructure and software tools to streamline workflow, expansion of its global manufacturing network to increase access to manufacturing capabilities, materials, and capacity, and hiring top talent to scale its industry-leading service experience.
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“Fictiv is developing the software infrastructure required to connect the manufacturing workforce and trillions of dollars of capital equipment,” explained CEO and Co-Founder Dave Evans in a recent press release. “Both product developers and manufacturers will benefit from the efficiencies gained by eliminating unnecessary, repetitive tasks and unlocking employees to focus on creative problem solving.”
“With Fictiv, companies are no longer required to invest in large supply chain teams to bring a product to market,” commented Fictiv CXO and Co-Founder Nate Evans. “Just as companies rely on services like Amazon Web Services rather than building and managing their own server racks, anyone can leverage Fictiv’s platform and global network to streamline the product development and production process, providing the flexibility to win in today’s competitive global market.”
Driven by the power of data to build smart, responsive products, product developers are leveraging sensors to connect everything, creating a surge of disruptive hardware innovation. Competitive pressures have never been higher, and time to market for new products is paramount.
“Fictiv’s innovative tools and services address the critical gap in contract manufacturing that will lead to a massive shift in how consumer and industrial products are manufactured,” added Daniel Oros, Partner at G2VP.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.