Software engineers have a host of tooling to organize their projects, the major ones being Git software like GitLab or GitHub, but hardware engineers today lack that same organizational principle. They are stuck with a bunch of techies who don’t communicate well with each other, leaving them to create Excel spreadsheets to organize their work, a method that is prone to errors due to its manual nature. suffers from
Flow engineering wants to fine-tune that system and give hardware engineers, the people who build complex systems like rockets and race cars, the same types of tools their software counterparts have.
Today, the company announced an $8.5M seed round.
Flow’s founder and CEO Pari Singh says they’re replacing spreadsheets and helping to bring automation, integration and collaboration to the hardware engineering process, which he says hasn’t evolved much in the past 30 years. These engineers work in various modeling software, then hold meetings or share changes via email and spreadsheets, none of which really takes advantage of the digital realm in any sense.
“They may be working in Excel models, MATLAB models, simulation models or CAD models. The issue is that these models reside in different tools, and they do not talk to each other, which means there is a problem around fragmentation. We don’t have a single source of truth for design. So what Flow does is it glues all these models together, and helps engineering teams know what they can do to meet their core requirements. have been or not,” Singh told TechCrunch.
Most large companies try to roll their own, he says, but the problem his startup is trying to solve needs to be addressed, which large companies typically do without their vast resources. Despite this, it does not happen. These companies typically roll their own automation, he says, but he believes they are missing out on the real solution.
“And what these engineering teams need is not automation, but abstraction, and it’s a very subtle, very important change in how we look at that problem space, but one that completely changes the solution you build.” is,” he said.
The product is currently in private beta, so they’re very early days for the company, but it plans to use the funding to continue building out and refining the solution before delivering a generally available solution next year.
The goal is to replace the spreadsheet for starters, and then layer on more features over time. “We have a really clear use case today, which is to replace Excel spreadsheets for engineering design parameters and requirements. And we help connect those requirements to those design parameters. And over time, as The more integration we build, the more we’re going to be able to deliver more value in a very productive way,” Singh said.
The startup has around a dozen employees and plans to add around 20 employees next year. As he builds the company, Singh says diversity is an important element for him, but finding diverse talent has been a challenge, especially because experienced people in this field tend to be men.
“When I talk about characterizing the mechanical engineering and hardware engineering market, there’s a real problem around diversity in the industry that I come from. And that’s really a key factor for us … and we really I see ourselves as a company that represents a new era of engineering. And we want to be able to do that in equipment and product and how we communicate with customers, but also that we Who are,” he said.
The $8.5 million seed investment was led by EQT Ventures, with participation from backed VCs and several leading industry angels.