CloudNC, the U.K. startup and Entrepreneur First alumni that is developing AI software to automate part of the manufacturing process, has quietly raised £9 million in Series A funding, TechCrunch has learned.
According to sources — and since confirmed by the company — Atomico, the European VC firm founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennström, has led the round. A number of existing investors, including Episode 1 and Entrepreneur First, also participated. We first heard a term sheet had been put on the table as far back as March, and last week the investment finally closed.
With the broader aim of using AI to dramatically reduce the time and costs associated with manufacturing, CloudNC is developing software and a cloud computing service that hopes to automate the programming of CNC milling machines.
These machines work by carving blocks of solid metal into useful shapes, where a useful shape could be anything from a Macbook body, to bits of a car, to jet engine turbine blades. Unlike 3D printing, this happens in a ‘subtractive’ way; metal is cut out until what is left is the resulting component.