Industry 4.0 gets its first unicorn

How this major player in AI + IoT is leading the pack and saving the supply chain during the Industry 4.0 revolution.
Written by Greg Nichols, Contributing Writer

Augury, an industrial AI + IoT company—with customers such as Colgate, Hershey's and Pepsi – has raised $180M in Series E funding. The round, led by Baker Hughes, launches the company to unicorn status and makes it an important bellwether for Industry 4.0 transitions.

The deal comes amidst a pandemic-driven disruption in manufacturing and supply chains, which VCs have taken keen notice of. Something on the order of $45.1B has been raised by industrial start-ups so far this year, compared with the $34B raised in all of 2020, according to PitchBook. Augury's wireless sensors and cloud platform monitors the "vitals" (like temperature and vibration) of critical industrial equipment. AI is used to compare them to a database of over 80K+ machine sounds so that faults can be detected before they cause downtime. It does this at an accuracy rate of over 99%. This is especially important as automation and robotics become driving forces of global manufacturing and distribution.

"We've spent the last decade building towards a future where we can always rely on the machines that matter, in the sectors that matter," said Saar Yoskovitz, co-founder and CEO of Augury. "Today marks a significant step into that future since our industry's leading organizations have recognized the importance of Machine Health to them and their customers, and trust Augury to be their Machine Health partner. I'm thrilled by the opportunity this funding, coupled with the market access our new investors provide, gives us to further fuel Augury's exponential growth and bring the impact of Machine Health to new markets." 

In many ways the technology specializes in increasing efficiency by decreasing the costs associated with downtime and catastrophic equipment failure. Examples abound, but three touted by Augury include one in which Colgate-Palmolive saved 2.8 million tubes of toothpaste by avoiding a single machine failure; another in which ICL saved a million dollars in downtime and production loss costs at a single facility in less than 10 months; and one in which PepsiCo has rolled out the tech on all North American Frito Lay plants after Augury saved them 1M+ pounds of snacks.

Baker Hughes and SE Ventures are investing in Augury at a time of astonishing disruption for the supply chains. Global manufacturing is dealing with unprecedented uncertainty, and in that environment Augury's pitch of shoring up owned infrastructure is landing on friendly ears.

According to the company, proceeds will contribute to Augury's over $200 million war chest as it expands globally in sectors like energy while strengthening its core manufacturing customer base.

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