Freigeist backs United Manufacturing Hub
Press release for United Manufacturing Hub seed round funding with Freigeist.
Bonn/Cologne, January 25th, 2024
In order to meet the growing demand for sustainable, efficient production, it is imperative that our industry succeeds in its transformation towards data-driven, AI-supported production sites.
One of the biggest challenges here is the processing of data from production sites - until now, there has been no uniform standard for the many different data sources within a production facility, such as computer systems, sensors and machine controls.
The Cologne-based startup United Manufacturing Hub, Frank Thelen's venture capital fund Freigeist and existing investor DnA Ventures are now joining forces to tackle this mission.
The United Manufacturing Hub's open source platform enables engineers to seamlessly integrate all factory data sources - from sensors to machines to systems - with industrial apps to enable data-driven, more efficient and sustainable production.
How to connect machines from the 90s with modern AI platforms
The emergence of new applications is both an opportunity and a threat for the industry: new technological developments promise significant increases in efficiency and cost savings. However, implementation poses major challenges for many industrial companies. One reason for this is that the required data comes from a wide variety of sources: Plants that are around 30 years old have correspondingly outdated operating systems, sensors and control units. These often do not come from a single source. In most cases, the person who designed the machine has long since left the company.
United Manufacturing Hub wants to establish a new industry standard for all this data with its open source platform, which offers companies reliable and uniform access to their own production data. This will enable them to make intelligent decisions and forecasts with the help of software solutions and AI models.
Within the industry, his new architectural approach is known as Unified Namespace. It enables companies to access all data easily and comprehensibly at a central point. Some major companies, such as the energy group E.ON, are already using the United Manufacturing Hub open source platform and the Unified Namespace as a basis for optimizing their power plants in a data-driven manner.
"Data in production should be just as easily accessible as water, air or electricity, only then can innovative solutions be developed by anyone at a low threshold. Before UMH was founded, we were in the exact same situation: we had ideas and use cases, but implementing them with established software was expensive, slow and unnecessarily complicated. That's why we built our software & accumulated knowledge open source in 2021, so that no one with good ideas fails due to a lack of know-how and poor software." - Alexander Krüger, Co-Founder & CEO
With the seed financing from Freigeist and the support of existing investor DnA Ventures, the product and engineering team is to be further expanded to meet the increasing requirements of large corporations. Investments will also be made in the rapidly growing community around the United Manufacturing Hub. More than 2,000 developers and engineers have already come together on platforms such as Discord and Reddit to discuss United Manufacturing Hub's open source software and use it as the basis for their own projects.
The Cologne-based startup United Manufacturing Hub was founded in 2021 by Jeremy Theocharis, Alexander Krüger and Christian Proch. Previously, the founders worked with a top management consultancy and early-stage investor DnA Ventures to support a wide range of digitalization projects worldwide, from digital store floor management in heavy industry to process data acquisition in the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries. United Manufacturing Hub's clients include well-known companies such as Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Sonnländer Getränke (EDEKA Production) and the energy group E.ON. DnA Ventures is an early-stage investor specializing in industrial tech. Its focus areas include the industrial application of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Freigeist Capital is a venture capital company with a focus on early-stage technology-driven start-ups. Freigeist's portfolio includes the biopharmaceutical drug developer Prosion Therapeutics, the urban air mobility startup Lilium, the energy storage company Kraftblock, the robotics startup RobCo, and the SaaS ERP startup Xentral. Freigeist's best-known exits include the Wunderlist app acquired by Microsoft, the Uber competitor MyTaxi acquired by Daimler and kaufDA, now part of the Axel Springer Group.