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AI to automate complex circuit board design: Munich-based CELUS codes €25M funding

CELUS Founders
Image credits: CELUS

CELUS, a German deep tech company that uses AI to streamline circuit board engineering, has raised €25 million in Series A funding. The investment round was led by Earlybird Venture Capital (which invested in Freeverse) along with participation from DI Capital and existing investors Speedinvest and Plug and Play.

A host of individuals participated in the oversubscribed round and formed CELUS’ expert advisory board. It includes Sir John Rose (former CEO of Rolls Royce); Sir Peter Bonfield (Chairman of TSMC and NXP); Carl-Peter Forster (CEO of Opel, GM Europe, and Tata Motors); Paul Gojenola (Electronic Engineering Lead at Google); Martina Koederitz (former CEO IBM Germany and DACH, & former IBM Global Industrial Managing Director); and Koenraad Crooijmans (former Investment Banker at Morgan Stanley).

Growth plans

CELUS will be using this investment to further prioritise rapid growth with a strong focus on the US market, strengthen its commercial team, and further enlarge its technology leadership.

CELUS CEO, Tobias, commented: “This fresh round of funding, and the support from top-tier investors and our prestigious active advisory board, allows us to grow our user base globally and open a CELUS office in the US – positioning us in the heart of the electronics industry. We want to reach every electronics designer out there, enabling them to focus more time on innovation and creativity, while our software reduces the tedious and time-consuming tasks they were dealing with before.”

Andre Retterath, Partner at Earlybird, who is joining the CELUS board, added: “The electronic supply shortages triggered by Covid have, more than ever before, revealed the faultiness of one of the largest and most important global industries. Having observed this market for several years, we strongly believe that CELUS, with its engineer-first approach, is best positioned to lead the horizontal integration of the broken and fragmented electronics supply chain – enabled by design automation.”

Sir John Rose explained further: “CELUS’ entry into the electronics engineering market is extraordinarily well-timed and important for the industry. Acquiring components for circuit board design and creation became increasingly difficult during the Covid-19 pandemic, but CELUS’ technology sweeps away many of these obstacles from an engineer’s design path. I am delighted to be joining the company’s advisory board and can’t wait to help CELUS achieve its vast, global potential.”

Cloud-based engineering platform

Until now, circuit boards have been designed manually using an engineer’s experiential knowledge and their research of necessary components. This leads to very complex, time-consuming, and iterative design cycles to get to the final design and component selection.

CELUS was founded in Munich, Germany, in 2018 by Tobias Pohl, Alexander Pohl, and André Alcalde. It works with the vision to open up new levels of efficiency and quality assurance to electronic engineering professionals, distributors, and component manufacturers alike.

Its cloud-based engineering platform supports electronics engineers with rich component data from electronic manufacturers, and adds automation to accelerate the design process and reduce design time by up to 90%. This is particularly crucial right now with the industry facing severe chip shortages. Already, over 1,800 engineers use the CELUS Engineering Platform.

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