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Software Defined Automation Fuels Growth Through $10M Seed Round


The gate-startup Software Defined Automation, a leading innovator turning factories into software systems, announced it has raised $10 million in a seed round led by global software investor Insight Partners, with additional investment from Baukunst VC, Fly Ventures, and First Momentum. The funds will be used to scale customer adoption and extend its solution portfolio.

The gate-startup Software Defined Automation revolutionizes factory automation with an Industrial-Control-as-a-Service offering. Industrial-Control-as-a-Service (ICaaS) is centered around cloud-based management of existing PLCs (TechOps), Git-enabled PLC code versioning and collaboration (DevOps), as well as virtualization of PLCs on edge servers (Virtual PLC). In combination, these technologies have the power to break down proprietary silos in control technology stacks and enable API-based modern microservices architecture. This new paradigm transforms the daily lives of automation professionals by bringing remote work, cloud security, resilience, collaboration tools and independence from proprietary automation vendor hardware to the modern factory.

In doing so, SDA enables automation engineers to manage control equipment in the same way cloud engineers manage applications. This encompasses disaster recovery, edge and cloud security as well as flexibility for production changes. Keeping modern developer experience front-and-center, SDA empowers individual automation engineers with state-of-the-art tools and modern user experience, helping improve the attractiveness of the field of automation technology to young professionals.

“With the new system we are able to increase our productivity for automation engineering and securely manage our machine suppliers’ as well as our own PLC code base through fine grain control rules,”

said Marcel Welz, Digital Engineer at Henkel Laundry & Home Care. He added:

“The ability to run the PLC programming environment in any browser allows us to maximize the utilization of our licenses and for PLC programmers to access it via any device”.

“Automation engineers have not been given the same modern tools as traditional software developers. We believe that there is a massive opportunity to increase productivity through cloud-based collaboration, and SDA’s cutting-edge tools and proven customer success make clear that the company is onto something special,”

said Jon Rosenbaum, Managing Director at Insight Partners.

“We believe that the team at SDA is uniquely positioned to solve this problem and we look forward to partnering with them to bring ICaaS to more customers around the globe.”  

As part of the transaction, Jon Rosenbaum, Managing Director at Insight Partners and Axel Bichara, Co-Founder and General Partner at Baukunst will join the company’s Board of Directors.

About Software Defined Automation

Software Defined Automation was founded by cloud, industrial software and manufacturing veterans to deliver Industrial-Control-as-a-Service. We empower industrial automation professionals to maximize the efficiency of production processes and collaboration with next-generation git-based tools. SDA has offices in Boston, US and Munich, Germany. Learn more about our story: https://www.softwaredefinedautomation.io/company/about/

About Insight Partners

Insight Partners is a global software investor partnering with high-growth technology, software, and Internet startup and ScaleUp companies that are driving transformative change in their industries. As of June 30, 2022, the firm has over $80B in regulatory assets under management. Insight Partners has invested in more than 700 companies worldwide and has seen over 55 portfolio companies achieve an IPO. Headquartered in New York City, Insight has offices in London, Tel Aviv, and Palo Alto. Insight’s mission is to find, fund, and work successfully with visionary executives, providing them with right-sized, right-time practical, hands-on software expertise along their growth journey, from their first investment to IPO.

About Fly Ventures

Fly Ventures is a specialized venture capital firm backing technical founders solving hard problems. Fly invests from day-zero to seed, backing founders from all over Europe. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Fly has been on the zero to one journey with portfolio companies who have raised in excess of $1Bn in follow-on funding from some of the world’s best VCs. 

About Baukunst VC

Baukunst is a collective of creative technologists advancing the art of building companies at the frontiers of technology and design. Baukunst is independent minded and invests with conviction at company formation. The Baukunst partners have led investments in over 100+ technology companies and shepherded them from company formation to multi-billion dollar impact. Baukunst has offices in San Francisco and Boston, and General Partner Axel Bichara (lead investor in SolidWorks, co-founder of OnShape) is on the board of SDA.

About First Momentum

First Momentum Ventures is a DACH-area specialist fund, dedicated to deeply technical founders that are building companies at the frontier of their field. As “engineers at heart, investors by choice”, First Momentum supports technical teams applying an engineering mindset to business problems, often pre-market or even pre-product.