Mechanical engineering community GrabCAD is announcing $1.1 million in seed funding today, from Matrix Partners, Atlas Venture, Next View Ventures and angels John McEleney, Alex Ott, Angus Davis and Jon Stevenson.
Founded in 2009, GrabCAD is like an oDesk or an eLance specifically for mechanical engineers, with the added benefit of offering a free CAD model library. Boston-based and with a development team in Estonia, the platform helps connect over 7,500 mechanical engineers with the manufacturers and product development companies that need them. The company has tripled the number of engineers in its community in the past month.
Co-founder Hardi Meybaum plans on using the money for expansion and hiring, ” Our plan is to be the biggest mechanical engineering team in the world.”
When asked what the deal is with all the Estonia-hype lately, Maybaum said that it primarily stems from Skype’s recent Microsoft acquisition, “Skype has played a big role in this, about half of our [Estonia’s] companies are ex-Skype employees.” Case in point: Half of the GrabCAD team also used to work for Skype.