The COVID-19 pandemic has created a massive shift towards work-from-home business models. Adapting has become a crucial part of doing business in 2020 and will continue to be in the future. However, some jobs aren’t easy to do remotely. That includes things like prototype design.
That helped a startup called Wikifactory raise $3 million as part of a new funding round. The company bills itself as a “GitHub for hardware” and aims to make remote component design more seamless. It’s an interesting approach that couldn’t arrive at a better time.
Computer-aided design (CAD) is a key part of engineering in today’s world. It lets workers quickly create prototypes and test them under simulated conditions before bringing them into the real world. When combined with technologies such as 3D printing, CAD becomes an even more powerful tool.
Wikifactory’s new Collaborative CAD Tool lets engineers work remotely on almost any CAD model. Better yet, they can do so simultaneously and use the tool’s chat features to communicate. The tool supports more than 30 different file formats at this time. That gives teams a ton of flexibility to collaborate on practically any 3D design project.
The startup’s approach to CAD is already making waves. It claims that 70,000 product developers from 190 countries have used its tool since May 2019. They utilize Wikifactory from a variety of industries, including robotics, drones, automotive design, and sustainable energy.
Wikifactory’s co-founder and executive chairman, Nicolai Peitersen, says, “Wide-scale global collaboration to make physical things is happening both for open-source and for proprietary product development.”
He adds, “The global manufacturing industry output, worth $35 trillion, is finally having its web moment. Online collaboration and distributed production is becoming mainstream. We’re calling it the internet of production.”
Companies around the world are looking for ways to adapt to the pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual collaboration tools like Wikifactory’s CAD software help meet those needs.
That’s why the startup was able to raise an additional $3 million. The round brings its total funding to $4.5 million ahead of a Series A round. At this point, the investors remain unnamed but are characterized as “impact investors,” according to TechCrunch.
Wikifactory intends to use the fresh funding to create a “quality-assured” manufacturing marketplace. The startup also plans to build mirrored servers in China.
Its tools are currently available in four languages, but that number will expand to 20 after a Series A round is completed in 2021.
The future is bright for remote work. Startups like Wikifactory are poised for success by meeting the needs of companies in every industry with an innovative, collaborative solution.