Browser-based hardware design tool Flux raises $ 12 million

Things were trending toward remote collaboration long before the world came to a halt in the wake of a global pandemic, but the last year and a half has certainly been a major catalyst for rethinking the way people work. It’s a phenomenon Flux has been thinking about for a while, which began to unfold in 2019 with a team of employees who worked at places like Apple, Facebook, and NASA.

The startup designed a web-based real-time collaboration tool for electronic design and engineering. Today announces an initial increase of $ 12 million, led by Outsiders Fund and features additional investments from Bain Capital Ventures, 8VC and Liquid2 VC. The funding will go towards expanding Flux’s development team, investing in R&D for additional features, and increasing its marketing reach.

Flux cites both the explosion of remote working (which won’t go away anytime soon) and continuing hardware limitations, such as chip shortages, as the main drivers of interest around its technology.

“The world has changed dramatically since the first commercial chip developers opened the store in the 1970s and 1980s. Today’s chip shortage is just the latest sign of that,” said co-founder and CEO Matthias Wagner in a statement. linked to the news. “The supply chain challenges we are seeing now are not just a pandemic problem, they stem from decades of inattention to the design process itself. We created Flux to finally address these issues and we feel very fortunate to have found so many incredible investors who share our vision. “

Image credits: Flow

Flux says its technology is compatible with “all modern browsers” and requires no downloads. The system has a simulator, automatic parts supply and version control. The Community Library, meanwhile, offers access to open source schematics, models, and parts – a little GitHub, a little Makerbot Thingiverse.

Wagner tells TechCrunch that the company is taking a GitHub-style approach to monetization.

We are very inspired by GitHub and how the entire software ecosystem changed with its open and community-driven repository of reusable code. Similarly, we are planning to have a freemium SaaS model to make it easy for anyone to get started while offering teams and organizations the kind of features they need. This model allows the hardware community to come together and create and share reusable components such as parts, simulator models, and reference schematics that can be branched and improved. Of course, engineers will always have control over what they share and post. As engineers, we want to empower as many engineers and teams as possible.

In addition to funding, the service is also taking advantage of the opportunity to launch in beta.

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