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Bright Machines plans to expand assembly software stack

In a significant development for the manufacturing technology sector, Bright Machines Inc., a San Francisco-based company positioning itself at the forefront of "software-defined manufacturing," has successfully secured $126 million in Series C funding. This latest financial boost brings the company's total funding to an impressive $400 million, underscoring strong investor confidence in its innovative approach to modernizing electronics manufacturing.



Bright Machines, founded in 2018 by industry veterans, aims to revolutionize the traditionally manual and inefficient electronics manufacturing process. The company's vision is to address critical industry challenges, including workforce shortages, outdated systems, fragmented supply chains, and a lack of standardization across the value chain. With the proliferation of AI driving up demand for compute power and AI hardware, Bright Machines sees an opportunity to alleviate the bottleneck caused by fragmented vendors in the supply chain.

At the heart of Bright Machines' approach is a data-focused strategy that combines robotics and software to create a "full-stack" system. This system offers centralized data visibility, traceability, performance benchmarking, and flexible automation. The company leverages computer vision, machine learning, and software to create an AI backbone for automated assembly, potentially transforming product design and manufacturing processes.

One of the key innovations highlighted by Bright Machines is its Design from Automated Assembly (DFAA) tool. This tool utilizes the company's data network to provide virtual design recommendations, aiming to significantly reduce products' time to market. By integrating this data network with agile robotics, modeling, and simulation, Bright Machines supports the concept of "microfactories" - modern manufacturing facilities that purportedly outperform traditional factories in efficiency and flexibility.



The company's technology also extends to quality control and sustainability. Its robots employ algorithms for assembly inspection, ensuring quality control and traceability. Furthermore, Bright Machines claims to support circular manufacturing through flexible disassembly capabilities, facilitating the harvesting and recycling of components at the end of a product's life cycle.

The recent funding round saw significant participation from major players in the tech and finance sectors. Of the $126 million raised, $106 million in equity was led by investment funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, with additional contributions from NVIDIA, Microsoft, Eclipse, Jabil, and Shinhan Securities. The remaining $20 million came in the form of venture debt from J.P. Morgan.

This substantial investment not only validates Bright Machines' vision but also highlights the growing pressure on large cloud-compute providers to scale AI infrastructure to meet increasing demand. The collaboration with tech giants like NVIDIA and Microsoft is expected to enhance Bright Machines' ability to deliver flexible, integrated, and intelligent manufacturing solutions to its customers.

Bright Machines plans to utilize this new funding to launch product innovations, expand its software stack for increased assembly flexibility, and grow strategic relationships with ecosystem partners. The company, which currently employs over 200 people worldwide, recently announced an integration and go-to-market partnership with Microsoft Azure, aiming to enable a more accessible, efficient, and data-driven manufacturing process for electronics manufacturers.

As the demand for AI continues to catalyze transformation in electronics manufacturing, Bright Machines is positioning itself to play a pivotal role in redesigning supply chains and manufacturing processes. By leveraging AI and software to teach robotics systems how to build electronics, the company envisions unlimited opportunities to redefine the design and construction of electronic products, potentially reshaping the future of manufacturing in an increasingly AI-driven world.

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