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SoftWear Secures $3 Million in Funding for Robotic Sewing Technologies

SoftWear Automation Inc., a developer of robotic sewing technologies for the garment industry, announced last week that it completed a $3 million Series A round of financing from CTW Venture Partners. CTW partner, K.P. Reddy, has also been employed as CEO of the company.

The U.S. imports a near $100 billion in sewn products annually, and the country has lost an estimated 85 percent of its apparel manufacturing jobs since 1990 as manufacturers relocate operations to countries with lower labor costs. However, the competition of lowering costs in apparel production comes at a rather high price. Working conditions of foreign factories can be exceedingly poor and the long distance shipping affects the environment.

In spite of this, SoftWear is working to make the U.S. garment manufacturing industry price competitive once again, and bring jobs back to America with its use of machine vision, robots and computing technologies. It is also seeking to be the first supplier of fully automated garment production lines with advanced robotic sewing technologies.

CTW Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage entrepreneurs throughout the southeast, focusing on companies with patentable and disruptive innovations.

Palaniswamy “Raj” Rajan, managing partner of CTW Venture Partners, said, “CTW is looking to ‘Change The World’ with our investments and we have found a perfect match in SoftWear.”

K.P. Reddy, SoftWear’s CEO and CTW partner added, “SoftWear’s technologies will eliminate sweatshops and give the American apparel industry a significant competitive advantage.” He concluded, “Also, in the same way the 3D printer is changing traditional manufacturing and prototyping, our devices will revolutionize the apparel industry by allowing designers to instantly fabricate their fashion line and create clothing beyond the capabilities and precision of human hands.”

Softwear Automation is also part of the Georgia Tech Collaborative that received a $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation in August. The company has also previously acquired grant funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Georgia Research Alliance.