German industrial automation startup sewts closed a €7 million series A financing round with an interesting set of investors on board. The funding round was led by Emerald Technology Ventures, CNB Capital, EquityPitcher Ventures and Nabtesco Technology Venture as new investors. sewts also received further contributions from existing shareholders Bayern Kapital, APEX Ventures and HTGF. With the new funding, sewts will accelerate the roll-out of the sewts.VELUM systems across international laundries and enter new markets, such as the processing of clothing returns in e-commerce.
sewts automizes what others cannot, according to them. Whereas (bin-)picking of rigid materials like metals is quite easy for robots, handling deformable and soft materials (like textiles) is still unchartered territory for robotic automation. With its unique approach of combining AI, robotics and material simulation, sewts is providing robots with human-like perception and grasping capabilities and making the automatic handling of textiles possible for the first time.
Alexander Bley, Co-Founder and CEO at sewts, said: “Our long-term vision is a “moonshot” idea – to revolutionize the production of textiles. To get there, we first dedicate ourselves to the most promising niche markets and then approach the big vision step by step.”
According to sewts’ founders, the industrial laundry market is often underestimated, but in fact, it has a multi-billion dollar global market size). With unprecedented market demand for automation solutions, sewts is developing additional use cases for the textile production life cycle. The new technology is not only needed to overcome labor shortage but, more importantly, it will help achieve global climate objectives and protect human rights.
Michal Natora, Investment Director at Emerald and Lead investor, summarized sewts’ potential as follows: “Physical AI will enable the automation of complex, laborious tasks which so far had to be done by humans. We think that, through physical AI, freed-up human capital will be one of the biggest productivity drivers in the next decade. Our investment in sewts comes from the conviction that this company has the ingredients to become one of the leaders in physical AI. sewts entered the market by bringing industrial robots to commercial laundries for the first time, generating very strong market demand for its initial product sewts.VELUM.”
Founded in 2019, sewts’ long-term vision is automating clothes production. The German startup is planning to automate the handling of returned clothes in e-commerce. With the support of the Otto Group, sewts has already created a prototype for this use case.
In 2022 it launched its first series-ready product sewts.VELUM – a robotic cell designed to help industrial laundries overcome challenging labor shortages and strengthen operating efficiencies. The system automatically picks crumpled, laundered towels and feeds them into folding machines to reduce manual workload at a human-like speed.