By Atlanta Business Chronicle
This article was published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle February 1, 2021.
Softwear Automation reported closing an $18.1 million Series B round in a Feb. 1 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The Atlanta startup, founded in 2012, uses robotics and artificial intelligence to automate the manufacturing of sewn goods.
The startup began raising for the round in 2019, according to the filing. That year, it reported closing about $12 million. The Series B was led by Lear Corporation with participation from CTW Venture Partners, which is managed by Softwear Automation CEO Palaniswamy "Raj" Rajan, SRI Capital and MacDonald Ventures.
Atlanta's Silicon Road, and Monta Vista Capital also invest in the company.
Softwear Automation uses sewing robots, or SewBots, to make it cost efficient to manufacture textiles, such as clothing, towels and footwear, anywhere in the world. According to its website, the company isn't taking orders for the robots until July 2022.
Softwear Automation spun out of Georgia Tech after seven years of research, supported by grants from The Walmart Foundation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Georgia Research Alliance.
In 2017, the startup raised $4.5 million, according to an SEC filing, which was the same year it expanded into a 50,000-square-foot industrial space in West Midtown and doubled its workforce.
“Our Sewbot technology was created to help redesign the apparel and textile supply chain to enable manufacturing close to the customer,” Rajan told the Chronicle in 2017. “Factories today chase cheap labor around the world and we have ended up with an unsustainable supply chain.”