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GrabCAD Raises $8.15M From Charles River Ventures, Yammer Co-Founder & Others For Its ‘GitHub For Mechanical Engineers’

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GrabCAD, which offers an online community and cloud-based collaboration tools for those involved in designing and building physical products, has raised an $8.15 million series B round led by Charles River Ventures, with participation from new investor David Sacks (co-founder of Yammer and former chief operating officer of PayPal), and existing investors Atlas Venture, NextView Ventures, and Matrix Partners.

This, says the company, brings GrabCAD’s total funding to around $14 million, having previously disclosed a $1.1m seed round, followed by a $4m Series A.

Meanwhile, GrabCAD says it will use the new capital to accelerate the company’s growth as it builds new collaborative tools to improve the design and communication processes in the “creation of physical products”.

Or another way to think of the company’s mission is to become the ‘GitHub for mechanical engineers‘. It currently offers an online community and marketplace for CAD engineers, along with collaborative tools to share designs and 3D models as a ‘work in progress’ with other engineers, along with clients, customers and other stakeholders in the design process.

The idea is to make it easier for mechanical engineers to collaborate, both amongst themselves by sharing models in an ‘open source’ way and thus reducing duplication, but also with clients by making it infinitely quicker to get feedback.

This pits it against a number of competitors, including Sunglass, a company that made its private beta debut back at TechCrunch Disrupt New York, and publicly launched this October.

In June, we reported that GrabCAD (headquartered in Boston, with development offices in Estonia) had reached a major milestone, growing its online community to 250,000, up from 70,000 in January, a stat that it claimed was equivalent to 10% of the world’s mechanical engineers based on published figures of CAD software ‘seats’ or user licences. That was some fuzzy logic, but as I noted at the time, certainly suggests that the company has decent traction. And it would seem, following today’s new funding round, investors have taken notice too.