SAN FRANCISCO – Flux, a developer of browser-based electronics design software, has raised $12 million to further expand its development team, build additional features for its platform, and support marketing efforts.
The company’s browser-based platform offers real-time collaboration and design access for electronics hardware designers. It features a community library that enables the storage and sharing of open-source parts, simulation models, and schematics created by its user community.
Funds were raised in a round led by Austin McChord’s Outsiders Fund. Additional investors include Bain Capital Ventures, 8VC, Liquid2VC, as well as select investors such as Tom Preston Werner, founder and former CEO of GitHub.
“I was fortunate to serve on teams behind some of the world’s most influential personal computers,” said Joanna Hoffman, a Flux investor and an original member of the Apple Macintosh team under Steve Jobs. “Yet, even though today’s hardware has evolved exponentially, the software that teams use to design electronics hasn’t changed very much. Collaboration with electrical engineers is still as clunky and inefficient as it was nearly 40 years ago. That’s why I’m so excited about Flux. Finally, someone has a fresh vision on how to fix it.”
“Flux is building upon many of the ideas that made GitHub successful and applying them to the hardware industry,” said Preston Werner. “Making it easy to collaborate and build off the work of others will accelerate hardware innovation.”
Flux can run in any modern web browser and requires no software downloads or licenses. The platform features a programmable simulator that eliminates the need for repeated downloads and uploads into more resource-intensive simulators. It boasts real-time collaboration tools, version control, and automated part-sourcing.
“In my experience building hardware, I’ve found designing a specific part or subassembly is only half the battle,” said Jonathan Ng, a Flux investor and product manager at Nest and Waymo. “The real challenge is getting all of it to work together with an entire team of engineers approaching the problem from different angles, varying expertise, multiple time zones, and in different locations. Flux is building the hardware collaboration tool I wish we had.”
“The world has changed dramatically since the first commercial chip developers opened shop in the 1970s and ‘80s. Today’s chip shortage is just the latest sign of that,” said Wagner, who serves as Flux’s CEO. “The supply chain challenges we’re seeing now aren’t just a pandemic problem. They stem from decades of inattention to the design process itself. We built Flux to finally address these issues, and we feel very fortunate to have found so many incredible investors who share our vision.”