Onshape is described as being the first and only full-cloud 3D CAD system that lets everyone on a design team work together using any web browser, phone, or tablet. It breaks away from the traditional method of installing computer-aided design (CAD) software, costing around $5,000, on a dedicated workstation.
In December 2012, the startup company raised $9 million in its first round of funding. That was followed in April 2013 by $25 million in Series B funding, which was followed by $64 million in March of this year.
It seems that Onshape continues to press ahead, as it has just completed another round of funding which netted $80 million in new equity financing. The Series D round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and included existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Commonwealth Capital Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.
Just about every product in the world relies on CAD software to carefully design all of the intricate details, making it ready for manufacturing. Solidworks has been the product of choice for this endeavor. However, Solidworks is now twenty years old and is starting to show its age.
A typical scenario will have product development teams with dozens, if not hundreds, of members separating parts of a product and tracking changes across sub-teams. As you can imagine, keeping track of the various sections and making sure that everyone is working from the same master set can become an almost impossible problem to tackle.
It is with that in mind that several veterans of Solidworks, including its original founder Jon Hirschtick, have come together to find a way to bring a product from the 1990s into a cloud-based system of the 21st century. This has led to Onshape’s several successful rounds of fund raising.
One of the major problems with running CAD software on a dedicated workstation is that regular updates are required, usually in terms of graphics drivers and general service packs. Onshape eliminates that aspect since there are no downloads and any updates all happen behind the scenes.
What you do end up with is an environment where everyone working on a particular project has access through any browser. The master copy remains in Onshape’s cloud, meaning that engineers and designers only have to worry about one version of every product file. Companies that use the service only pay for the months that the software is used.
Peter Levine, who will be joining the Onshape board of directors, said, "We've been closely following the CAD industry for a long time. The Onshape team immediately stood out, having built a robust CAD system using a cloud-based technical architecture that most had considered impossible. The Onshape product is perfectly suited for an increasingly mobile workforce, which now can create and edit 3D models anywhere, on any device."
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere