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Tempo raises $20 million to build new factory in San Francisco for electronics manufacturing

Electronics manufacturer Tempo Automation has closed a $20 million Series B round to increase its manufacturing capacity and double its team in key roles in software engineering, sales, and manufacturing.

Tempo says the move is “driven by high demand”. The company plans to increase manufacturing capacity with a new connected factory and company headquarters in the heart of San Francisco.

Paired with its factory software, this increases its overall capacity by 10 times over the next couple years. 

The round was led by P72 Ventures with participation from existing investors Lux Capital, Uncork Capital and AME, and new investors Industry Ventures, Dolby Ventures, and Cendana.

Sri Chandrasekar, partner at P72 Ventures, joins Tempo’s board of directors.

Hardware companies use Tempo’s service to rapidly prototype printed circuit board assembly designs and to get to market faster.

Tempo, which claims to be “the world’s fastest low-volume electronics manufacturer”, specialises in printed circuit board assembly. It says its strength is in “connected manufacturing”, so design data from the customer uploads directly interface with the robots on the floor.

This eliminates manual setup and drastically speeds up the manufacturing process.

For engineers, this also means they focus more on engineering, and less on project management.

Engineers simply upload a CAD design, get a real-time quote and “Design for Manufacturing” feedback, track the order through each process, and get fully assembled boards straight to their desk.

Tempo’s connected factory creates an unbroken digital thread so every step of the process – from design data to machines to material vendors and to technicians – is interconnected, which results in customers being able to iterate up to five times faster, according to the company.

Jeff McAlvay, CEO of Tempo Automation, says: “Whether they’re building products from rockets to medical devices to autonomous cars, today’s leading companies are racing to get their ideas and concepts to market faster.

“Yet, the tools to design and manufacture hardware have not improved in decades. When developing new software, it would be unimaginable to have to wait weeks and trade tens of phone calls and emails just to see if your code works or not. Yet, that’s the daily experience of electrical engineers today.

“We are excited to have Sri from P72 join our board. Having experienced the frustrations of electronics development firsthand, he shares our mission to create a new electronics manufacturing paradigm by building an unbroken digital thread from design to delivery.”

Tempo says the new funding underscores the momentum has recently achieved, including:

  • Growth in revenue of over 500 per cent, in 2017 alone
  • Plans to nearly double staff from 60 to over 100, specifically in key roles across engineering, sales and manufacturing by the end of 2018
  • Accelerating enterprise traction, counting nearly 200 paying customers from the world’s leading technology enterprises
  • A significant increase in customers from key verticals across aerospace, automotive, commercial hardware, consumer electronics, internet of things and medical devices

Chandrasekar says: “People take for granted that engineers can rapidly iterate designs, but that’s never been the case in electronics design.

“By reducing prototyping time from weeks to days, Tempo empowers engineers to experiment and companies to completely rethink their design timelines and processes.

“Tempo is transforming the electronics industry and their new factory will finally keep up with the demand and enthusiasm from engineers across industry.”

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