Deals

Manufacturing software firm Plex nets $50M & invests in Google Glass

Manufacturing
Image Credit: Cessna152 / Shutterstock

Plex makes cloud-based software for the manufacturing industry, and that narrow focus has paid off handsomely.

The Michigan-based software firm has raised $50 million in new equity funding, the company announced today.

Plex also revealed that it has created an integration with Google Glass, enabling folks from “the shop floor to the top floor” to connect their faces to its manufacturing cloud. It remains a “Plex Labs” project, meaning it’s still in the early stages, but Plex forecasts major interest among its customer base for the new functionality.

“We see manufacturing as the first killer app for Google Glass, providing seamless connectivity to systems, machines, information, and transactions for workers on the shop floor, where hands-free is an imperative,” Plex CEO Jason Blessing told VentureBeat.

With Plex’s software, manufacturers can manage “literally every part of the business,” said Blessing, from their supply chain visibility and inventory control to financials.

Between tech giants like Microsoft, SAP, and Netsuite, there’s a lot of enterprise resource planning software on the market — both on-premises and, increasingly, in the cloud — but few vendors focus exclusively on catering to manufacturers.

That lack of vertical competition has enabled Plex to carve out a valuable niche. With its manufacturing-focused feature set — Plex can track which tools and raw materials are used in the production of products, for example. It’s racked up over 400 customers across sectors like aerospace, defense, and automotive manufacturing.

“We’re in an advantageous position within manufacturing, since it’s all we do, and we’ve been doing it for more than a decade,” said Blessing. “That’s why you see investor interest, and our customer roster growing.”

Venture capital firm T. Rowe Price led Plex’s $50 million funding round, which also featured participation from existing Plex investor Accel Partners.