Robotics start-up Sewts has successfully completed a Series A funding round with a total volume of EUR 7 million. The Munich-based firm´s business model won over several top-tier robotics investors. A number of renowned international capital providers, namely Emerald Technology Ventures, CNB Capital, EquityPitcher Ventures, and Nabtesco Technology Ventures, have joined existing investors Bayern Kapital, APEX Ventures, and HTGF, which are increasing their investment from the seed funding round in 2021.
Driven by technological progress, solutions based on robotics and AI are becoming increasingly prevalent in the world of work across a range of different industries. In the manufacturing and processing industry, there are already countless solutions for processing solid, form-stable raw materials such as metals. However, automation continues to pose a challenge when dealing with deformable and soft materials such as textiles or semi-finished products made from carbon fibre. This affects the clothing and textile industry and large-scale laundries in particular, which are struggling to find staff.
sewts GmbH, founded in 2019 by engineering students Alexander Bley, Tim Doerks, and Till Rickert using an EXIST Business Start-up Grant, endeavors to meet this need. With its unique combination of AI, robotics, and material simulation, the Munich-based company has a vision to become the world´s leading partner for automation processes for easily deformable materials. sewts has designed innovative control and image processing software that allows robots to use smart algorithms developed in-house to predict in real-time how materials with an unstable form will behave when gripped and to respond with precision.
Market introduction and further use cases in textile production
In 2022, sewts launched VELUM, its first product ready for series production. VELUM is a robotic unit designed for industrial laundries that feeds wrinkled towels and other toweling products into the folding machine, thus helping to automate a predominantly manual activity. Up to 700 items can be processed per hour, at a speed similar to that achieved by humans. The product helps to overcome core challenges in the textiles sector, such as labor shortages, and considerably enhances process efficiency.
Alongside the market launch of VELUM, sewts is already developing further automation solutions along the textile production life cycle. Last year, with support from the Otto Group, the Munich-based startup created a prototype for the automated handling of returns in online shopping. The founders´ long-term vision is to manufacture clothing using automated robotics solutions.
“We are delighted to announce that our Series A funding round has concluded and would like to thank all of the investors for the trust they have placed in us”, says sewts co-founder and co-CEO Alexander Bley. “We will use this fresh capital to progress with our growth targets internationally. These include launching further VELUM systems in international large-scale laundries and, as a next step, refining our prototype for the automated handling of returns in online shopping.”
“With VELUM, sewts has brought an innovative product solution to markt maturity and is already planning further promising automation solutions for the textile industry”, says Monika Steger, Managing Director of Bayern Kapital. “textiles recycling are returning closer to the consumer market. In this way, sewts is making a key contribution to overcoming staff shortages in textile firms and reaching global climate targets.”