Singapore-based Arcstone is a data analytics and operations startup for manufacturing plants. The company announced its first round of funding today, led by Tokyo-based venture capital firm Global Brain. Wavemaker Partners, 500 Startups, and YSS Capital also participated in the round.
The investment amount is currently undisclosed, but founder and CEO Willson Deng tells Tech in Asia the company has received the funds in full and will use it exclusively for company growth.
“Funds will be allocated towards two key areas: continued software platform development and building our presence in the manufacturing world to secure customers throughout Southeast Asia,” he says.
Part of the latter will naturally be recruitment. In order to expand to Southeast Asia, the company wants to hire “regional experts in manufacturing and software developers that are familiar with enterprise level coding,” Willson says. “It is a niche area so we are keen on bringing in exceptional talent to train but we’ll only be keeping the best.”
Arcstone has been operating in Singapore since its inception. So far it has managed to go it alone, with the exception of some small angel funding back in 2013. “Since then we’ve been able to deploy, generate healthy revenues, and prove our solutions in facilities and equipment around the world,” Willson says.
As every company that grows regional and beyond knows, however, sometimes it’s good to have allies by your side. “In order to rapidly deploy and grow within Southeast Asia and abroad, we [felt we] would need a funding round to help accelerate the process. Growing organically now would have taken much longer,” he adds.
Arcstone’s investors are “strategically positioned” to help the startup expand across Southeast Asia and secure future rounds of funding, Willson feels. “We have investors that have experience in manufacturing, understand our operations, and can help us grow in this region with their vast connections,” he says.
“Arcstone is solving critical pain points for manufacturers,” principal at Global Brain, Takashi Sano, states. “Global Brain has the manufacturing experience to not only validate and financially support, but also to help propel Arcstone’s business forward.”
Internet of factories
Arcstone was founded in 2013, when founder and CEO Willson Deng channeled his love of manufacturing and expertise in industrial engineering into a software platform designed to streamline manufacturing processes. Arcstone’s “Operations Platform” product, now in its second iteration, helps manufacturers monitor, maintain, and manage their equipment as well as the processes followed in the plant. Our own Terence Lee described it as “Google Analytics for manufacturing.”
In light of this, Arcstone has been working closely with local groups like SPRING, the Economic Development Board, and SIMTech to provide insights on growth and competition to businesses big and small.
“We feel that this is the perfect time for manufacturers to begin the process of looking at data in their facilities in a new light,” Willson says. “It is important to note that this data is not just used for data analytics and optimization, but also operational control and visibility.”
Likewise, Arcstone is bullish on reaching more markets in Southeast Asia. “[It] is a significant market that is ready for powerful, flexible, and affordable solutions to manage and improve manufacturing operations,” Willson says. “Each region in Southeast Asia is unique and has its own set of challenges. We rely on our advisors, investors, and partners in these regions to help accelerate our growth and to ensure our solution speaks for itself and is able to bring value to the end manufacturer.”
In the long run, Willson hopes to take Arcstone global and enable other solutions providers in the hardware and software space to integrate with its platform. Arcstone has already formed the Singapore Manufacturing Consortium (SIMCO) with energy data startup Evercomm and private marketplace for ad hoc freight Cargobase, to offer comprehensive manufacturing solutions to their customers.
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