Onshape raises another $80m, well ahead of schedule

Sep 24, 2015 | Hot Topics

Onshape announced today that it has raised another $80 million in new equity financing in a new round led by Andreessen Horowitz and with existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Commonwealth Capital Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners upping their investments. That means that, to date, Onshape has raised $144 million. That’s incredibly cool — it means new players are betting that CAD isn’t dead (as has long been rumored) and that they see significant opportunity to do things differently to appeal to new user communities.

Onshape CEO John McEleney told me that this funding was unplanned and unsolicited. Onshape had intended to seek a D round in the future but, as entrepreneurs know, it’s far easier to raise money when you don’t need it than when you do. Dealing from a position of strength and all that … The company plans to use the new funds to expand sales and marketing and to increase investment in R&D and customer support.

Mr. McEleney says this is about more than money, though. Andreessen Horowitz is a Silicon Valley firm; you may recognize this Andreessen as Marc Andreessen, one of the guys who wrote Mosaic, founded Netscape and more or less invented the Internet we know today. Andreessen Horowitz was an early investor in Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Box, Skype, and more and, as Mr. McEleney said, “is one phone call away from anyone we might need in Silicon Valley”. While no one is saying Onshape’s bench isn’t strong enough as it is, having this level of access to cutting-edge thinkers and technologists will keep the company abreast of what’s happening in mobile, cloud and other rapidly evolving tech.

Andreessen Horowitz partner Peter Levine will join Onshape’s Board of Directors and says that his team has been “following the CAD industry for a long time.” [See — not dead. —Ed.] He says that Onshape stood out because it has “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.”

I also got a quick update on how Onshape is doing: Since the Beta launch 6 months ago, Onshore has grown to 10,000 users. From singletons to large enterprises, users are making and collaborating around real-world parts. The product is still in Beta; a first release may happen as soon as year-end, though no dates are confirmed at this point.

This is clearly a bet on Onshape’s technology and team — but also on the CAD industry as a whole. Without CAD, how would we design the objects and products we want to manufacture, support, design supply chains around? Definitely not dead.