SoftWear Automation, an Atlanta-based robotic sewing firm, has received US$4.5 million in funding from CTW Venture Partners. The company says funding will accelerate the company’s development of fully automated sewn good worklines specifically for apparel production in the United States. Additionally, the company plans to add 20 employees to keep pace with growing customer demand.
“Our innovative Sewbots are moving needles to the fabric instead of fabric to the needle. Factories today chase cheap labour around the world and we have ended up with an unsustainable supply chain. SoftWear Automation’s Sewbots can move that manufacturing closer to the customer or the raw materials,” said Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan, SoftWear Automation chairman and CEO.
SoftWear Automation is disrupting the US$100 billion sewn products industry by creating autonomous sewn good worklines for Home Goods, Footwear & Apparel. The machine vision and robotics startup spun out of Georgia Tech after seven years of research and development working on projects with DARPA and the WALMART Foundation. SoftWear’s fully automated Sewbots allow manufacturers to SEWLOCAL™, moving their supply chains closer to the customer while creating higher quality products at a lower cost.
SoftWear says this technology is quickly becoming “a de facto addition to the sewn products manufacturing process”, and the company’s sales grew 1,000 percent from 2015 – since it started shipping product – to 2016.