Daedalus, which is building precision-manufacturing factories powered by AI, raises $21M

Daedalus, a Startup Led by Ex-OpenAI Engineer, Secures $21M to Build AI-Powered Precision Manufacturing Factories

Reimagining Manufacturing with Artificial Intelligence

A startup named Daedalus, established by one of OpenAI’s initial engineering hires, aims to revolutionize manufacturing through AI-driven factories specialized in crafting bespoke precision parts. Based in Karlsruhe, Germany, Daedalus operates a sole factory that caters to industries such as medical devices, aerospace, defense, and semiconductors. By using AI technology, Daedalus intends to streamline the manufacturing process for complex components.

Recently, Daedalus secured a $21 million Series A investment round headed by NGP Capital, backed by Nokia, along with contributions from existing backers Khosla Ventures and Addition. With this latest financing, Daedalus surpasses $40 million in overall funding. Notable supporters include Y Combinator (YC).

Manufacturing Industry Challenges:

The manufacturing sector faces numerous challenges, especially concerning precision part creation. Traditional methods involve dealing with a highly fragmented landscape, characterized by a multitude of suppliers providing niche expertise. These manufacturers often lack digital transformation capabilities, making it challenging to adapt.

Revolutionary Approach by Daedalus:

Founded in 2019, Daedalus employs common manufacturing equipment yet distinguishes itself through advanced software designed to manage and optimize shop floors. Customers submit Computer-Aided Design (CAD) files, which Daedalus converts into final parts utilizing automated processes. Its software oversees the entire production chain, coordinating workflows, planning, and scheduling tasks.

Innovative Solution:

When producing a new component, traditional manufacturing involves countless steps and decisions affecting tooling requirements and settings. Daedalus’ software learns from previously produced parts and applies this knowledge to optimize the manufacturing process for subsequent parts. By employing machine learning algorithms, Daedalus enhances the conventional 3D printing approach, offering superior accuracy and efficiency.

Background of Daedalus Founder:

Before establishing Daedalus, Jonas Schneider served as the technical lead at OpenAI between 2016 and 2019. During this period, he played a pivotal role in developing OpenAI’s robotics division. Although OpenAI eventually shuttered its robotics division in 2021, Schneider’s tenure instilled in him a deep understanding of manufacturing challenges. His experiences inspired him to establish Daedalus.

Current Status and Future Plans:

Presently, Daedalus runs a single 50,000 square foot factory in Karlsruhe, primarily catering to the German-speaking markets. Near-term objectives include expanding to a second factory within Germany. Long-term plans encompass setting up factories globally to meet client demands effectively. “We’re learning all the systems and knowledge here,” says Schneider, referring to the current factory as the ‘blueprint factory.’ In time, Daedalus envisions implementing these factories wherever clients necessitate them.

Daedalus, which is building precision-manufacturing factories powered by AI, raises $21M