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Issue #43 - The Future of Manufacturing
Topics this time: a big update on my Industry 4.0 Landscape and a recap of what happened in the manufacturing tech industry in 2022.
👋 Welcome to Issue #43 👋
I hope you had a great start to 2023.
As promised, I updated my Industry 4.0 landscape which you can find at the end of this newsletter and also in my blog post Industry 4.0 — Reinventing the Factory Stack.
I also wrote a recap of what happened in the manufacturing tech industry in 2022.
Enjoy reading - and as always, sharing and feedback is a gift.
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II. A summary of 2022 👇
2022 was a challenging year for the manufacturing tech industry
Below is a recap of what happened in manufacturing tech industry in 2022. What's your view? I’m curious to hear your take on it and any other comments.
🔥 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐭
Local supply chains & reshoring
Automation & AI
Low-cost robots & cobots for SMBs
👎 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭'𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐡𝐨𝐭
𝐎𝐧 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐩𝐬 & VCs
💰Fundraising: after a record investments in robotics in 2021, robotics companies continued to raise a lot of money in 2022. Examples include Geek+, Realtime Robotics, RobCo, Fruitcore Robotics.
📉 Layoffs: We also saw manufacturing tech companies doing layoffs or going bankrupt such as Sigfox after raising €300M.
💰VCs: new VCs that focus on manufacturing tech emerge such as Countdown Capital and Construct Capital in the US. At the same time, some ClimateTech VCs are showing more appetite to invest in DeepTech and hardware as well.
On acquisitions & IPOs
🤑 Acquisitions: Only a few acquisitions happened in 2022. Examples include Proglove acquired by Nordic Capital for €500M, Scortex acquired by Trigo or Senseye acquired by Siemens.
🔔 IPOs: No major IPOs happened in 2022. Many digital manufacturing companies that used SPACs are suffering badly in the current macroeconomic climate.
𝐎𝐧 𝐡𝐲𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐬 (Amazon Microsoft Google)
🚀 Manufacturing companies are still investing in the cloud, but AWS and Azure report slowing growth in public cloud spending.
👩💻 Hyperscalers continue to attract top tech talent.
𝐎𝐧 𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐮𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐫𝐬
⚙️ New Factories: Established manufacturers are investing in building new factories from scratch with a strong focus on automation on the shop floor. Subsidies such as the Inflation Reduction Act in the US play a big role for that.
🤝 Local supply-chains: the geo-political situation forces established manufacturers to re-think their supply-chains and invest in local production facilities.
🤖 Automation: adoption of both physical automation (AGVs, robots) and software automation (eg. RPA) is going beyond enterprises and reaching the long tail of SMBs.
👩🏭 People: upskilling employees remains a big topic for enterprise companies but investments in reskilling remains under expectations.
In a financial environment that favors profitability and high margins, manufacturing tech companies are much more attractive than in a „growth at all costs“ environment. I believe 2023 will be a good year for manufacturing tech companies and I’m excited for what’s to come.
This was a summary of my observations and my Future of Manufacturing Newsletters that I've sent out in 2022.
III. Additional content and the I4.0 Landscape
A big update on my Industry 4.0 Landscape
I just updated my Industry 4.0 Landscape in January 2023. There are more than 500 active startups in this landscape. I also needed to remove 30+ companies that either got acquired or shut down in 2022. Click on the image below for a larger version.
If you think there is something missing, then please let me know.
You can find the landscape in high-resolution as a .pdf here:
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