U.S. manufacturing has found itself in a position similar to that of many other industries: facing exponential demand since its pandemic shutdown lows, elevated shipping costs to deliver on that demand and a struggle to fill the 2.4 million positions required to meet industry demand by 2028.
Founded in 2019, Manchester, U.K.-based Fractory has created an online metal fabrication marketplace to digitize the manufacturing process. This helps manufacturers improve their procurement process and open up production opportunities closer to their customers’ operations, bringing down overall shipping costs.
Marketplace users simply upload their digital computer-aided design, commonly referred to as CAD files, onto the platform to receive an instant, final quote from multiple suppliers, promising delivery to the U.S. in 13 days, according to the company website.
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Since 2019, Fractory has worked with hundreds of European manufacturers to deliver more than 2.5 million metal parts to over 24,000 customers.
Fractory’s innovative manufacturing solution has caught the attention of investors as the company announced Monday its $9 million Series A round led by OTB Ventures with participation from Superhero Capital, Trind Ventures, Verve Ventures, Startup Wise Guys and UnitedAngels VC. The company has raised a total of $11.15 million.
“Its rapid customer adoption is clear, demonstrable feedback of the value that Fractory brings to manufacturing supply chains with technology to automate and digitize an ecosystem poised for innovation,” said Marcin Hejka, managing partner of OTB Ventures, in the release. “We have invested in a great product and a talented group of software engineers, committed to developing a product and continuing with their formidable track record of rapid international growth.”
Funding details: Fractory
|Funding amount||$9 million|
|Funding round||Series A|
|Lead investor||OTB Ventures|
|Secondary investors||Superhero Capital, Trind Ventures, Verve Ventures, Startup Wise Guys and UnitedAngels VC.|
|Business goals for the round||Set up services in U.S., France and Italy and continue product and platform development.|
|Total funding||$11.15 million|
The company stated its main expertise is in metal fabrication but that it offers a range of services in its marketplace, including custom manufacturing, laser cutting, plasma cutting, metal bending, surface treatment and CNC machining.
Last September, Fractory also announced it had become one of the first platforms to offer instant 3D model pricing for tube cutting without the need for drawings, reducing the turnaround time for tube cutting procurement from days to seconds.
With its new funds, Fractory looks to continue automating its CNC machining, industrial 3D printing, additive manufacturing and casting services for customers in the construction, aerospace, defense, automotive, robotics, life sciences and agricultural sectors.
While the company does deliver to the U.S., it is looking to add manufacturing providers in the U.S., France and China to deliver faster turnaround for customers.
“We are thrilled to have raised our latest level of funding and partnering with great investors as we embark on our exciting next stage of growth,” said Martin Vares, founder and managing director of Fractory.
“The investment will be put towards improving and expanding our services, both in terms of manufacturing capabilities and geography. Since starting operations in Manchester, Fractory has played a vital role in helping to digitise the UK’s metalworks industry, which we believe will be essential for its survival. We can’t wait to expand our platform to help more manufacturers and markets across the globe,” Vares said.