Daedalus, a startup led by former OpenAI technical lead, secures $21M to redefine manufacturing with AI

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●   Daedalus is building the most advanced factories on the planet, using AI to revolutionise the manufacture of bespoke, precision parts.

●   Enabling sectors like semiconductors, energy, mobility, and pharmaceuticals to source and deliver their mission-critical products reliably and at scale.

Karlsruhe, Germany, 8th February 2024 - Daedalus, a technology company building the world's most advanced factories using AI, today announced its $21M Series A round, led by NGP Capital, with further participation from its existing investors, including Addition and Khosla Ventures. The new funding will further develop Daedalus’ proprietary Manufacturing AI Platform and scale the company's production facilities in Germany.

Led by former OpenAI Technical Lead Jonas Schneider, Daedalus is building the world's first autonomous and instantly reconfigurable factories. The company follows a unique software-driven, vertically integrated approach and its proprietary Manufacturing AI Platform to orchestrate and automate the entire manufacturing process, from quoting to delivery, for high-precision and high-mix parts.

Daedalus' software-controlled and highly automated production facilities use software to control and holistically optimize the shop floor operation and AI to automate many of the manual tasks involved in production. This software-defined approach to manufacturing enables the production of any new part with minimal human intervention and allows team members with minimal training to take its customers' mission-critical designs from CAD to finished parts with superhuman precision, reliability, and speed. Daedalus' customers already include leading semiconductor, energy, e-mobility, defense, and pharmaceutical companies, who rely on precision manufacturing for their mission-critical, high-value bespoke components.

Jonas Schneider, Founder and CEO of Daedalus, comments: "Imagine factories that possess the collective knowledge and expertise of all engineers and machinists who have ever worked in them, and can produce the most challenging parts with superhuman reliability and 10x efficiency. Daedalus is already making that vision real by revolutionizing how we build everything from microchips to critical medical components—unleashing the potential of numerous industries with our AI-powered factories that forge bespoke parts on demand. Today's funding will enable us to grow our production capacity to meet customer demand while investing in product development and hiring."

Christian Noske, Partner at NGP Capital, said: "We believe that the companies bringing the value of AI to massive and complex industries will be the tech giants of the 21st century. We see precision manufacturing as the ideal market to build a defensible moat by building a vertically integrated solution that deeply and directly connects AI-powered automation to complex value chains in a massive industry with high barriers to entry."

Despite a global annual turnover of precision parts of more than half a trillion USD, the world's leading companies face a highly fragmented, artisanal supplier landscape of over 100,000 machine shops, most of which operate with less than ten employees. An ever-worsening labor shortage of machinists and artisanal production processes mean customers need better reliability and scalability for their supply chains.

Schneider explains: "The conversations we have with our customers paint a shocking picture of the state of precision manufacturing. Our software-driven factory has already alleviated some major pain points, but we are still only beginning our journey. While we have already outscaled more than 50,000 incumbents, there is still $100B in annual demand we have not yet touched in Germany alone, and we're seeing demand from our existing customers exceed our capacity several times over. At the same time, we see many software features we can build to improve customer experience and internal efficiency further. To address both of these opportunities, we have decided to raise this additional capital and are happy to have found a great new partner in NGP Capital, with strong support from our existing investors, Addition and Khosla."


About Daedalus

Founded by Jonas Schneider, previously Technical Lead and the first engineer hired at OpenAI, Daedalus is on a mission to build the world's most efficient and reliable factories for precision parts. With funding from some of the biggest names in technology and a team combining German manufacturing excellence with Silicon Valley engineering, the company is ramping up its first 50,000 sqft factory in Germany, where it is already producing critical components for leading companies in the semiconductor, defense, energy, e-mobility and medical sectors.

The CEO of Daedalus, Jonas Schneider, graduated from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Computer Science before moving to Silicon Valley, where he first worked on distributed systems at Stripe and then joined OpenAI as one of the company’s first software engineers. He co-founded and led software engineering for OpenAI's Robotics team, advancing machine learning and AI research through software+ML+hardware systems that learn to interact with the physical world. For more information visit https://www.daedalus.de.