Funding

Silana funding news -Robotics Startup Silana Secures €1.5 Million in Funding

May 22, 2024 | By Startup Rise EU

Vienna-based Silana, a robotics startup that has created the world's first sewing automaton with the objective of alleviating the precarious working conditions in garment manufacturing, has received €1.5 million.

Vienna-based Silana, a robotics startup that has created the world's first sewing automaton with the objective of alleviating the precarious working conditions in garment manufacturing, has received €1.5 million.

SUMMARY

  • Vienna-based Silana, a robotics startup that has created the world's first sewing automaton with the objective of alleviating the precarious working conditions in garment manufacturing, has received €1.5 million.
  • Silana, which was established in 2022, is dedicated to resolving this matter.

The hardware accelerator HAX in New York is also involved in the round, which is led by the renowned DeepTech investor SOSV. Additionally, the OÖ HightechFonds and Material V, a technology investor, are involved.

A family of US billionaires, textile producer Tim Becht, waterdrop founders Martin and Henry Murray, sustainability expert in the textile industry Yoobin Jung, and Sequoia Scout and former N26 CGO Alexander Weber. The objective is to expedite development in order to deliver the initial devices next year, utilising the supplementary capital.

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At present, all clothing products are manufactured by hand. Numerous producers have relocated to Southeast Asia due to the elevated labour costs, which have not been without repercussions. "A single T-shirt frequently necessitates 12-15 individuals to labour in slave-like conditions for up to 12 hours at a time," stated Michael Mayr (COO), whose family operates Austria's largest fashion retailer, Fussl Modestraße, and prioritises a responsible supply chain.

Michael Hofmannrichter (CEO) said, “The clothing industry is responsible for 10% of global CO2 emissions. At the same time, over 90% of workers in manufacturing plants earn wages insu\icient for their survival. Nearly a third of produced clothing items cannot be sold and end up being shipped to already overflowing landfills in Africa, highlighting the precarious circumstances in the fashion industry."

Automation engineer Anton Wohlgemuth (CTO) added that “a high degree of automation will make nearshoring garment production feasible again,” referring to consistent and predictable production costs comparable to those in Asia. Until now, high production costs and a severe shortage of skilled labor have been the obstacles preventing this.

Michael Hofmannrichter said, "Silana’s robot acts as the final piece in an optimized production puzzle, enabling fully automated production of every step from fabric roll to printed T-shirt, even in Austria. Each manufacturing step is performed by dedicated subsystems in individual robot cells within minutes. We work with the most common fabrics and can, of course, also process sustainable viscose from Lenzing AG,”

Silana's objective is to transform the textile industry. Each year, it is anticipated that one billion garments will be manufactured in the region. Renowned producers worldwide have already pre-ordered nearly 200 machines, which will allow Silana's SiBot to produce 30 million T-shirts annually. In the years ahead, the product line will be expanded to encompass polo shirts and other items.

Anton Wohlgemuth (CTO), Michael Mayr (COO), and Michael Hofmannrichter (CEO) established Silana. The proprietors possess a wealth of experience in the textile industry. Michael Mayr is a member of the founding family of Fussl Modestraße, which has more than 200 stores in Germany and Austria.

Michael Hofmannrichter was previously employed by B&C Industrieholding in the capacity of investment manager for Lenzing AG, the world's largest producer of sustainable fibres. Anton Wohlgemuth, who was previously employed as a research scholar at TU Vienna, has a wealth of experience in the fields of software and hardware engineering.

About Silana

Silana, which was established in 2022, is dedicated to resolving this matter. Local producers can return to Europe to resume their manufacturing operations with the assistance of Silana's stitching robots. Moving production closer to the point of sale not only reduces resource consumption in manufacturing but also minimises the need for lengthy transport by ship or aircraft.

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