London VC Draper Esprit leads €25M funding in German startup disrupting simulation

The London-listed venture capital company, Draper Esprit, has led a €25 million funding round for German startup SimScale, the SaaS platform making high-fidelity simulation technically and economically accessible to engineers worldwide. The additional €25 million funding is an extension to the startup’s Series C funding.

The investment is co-led by Draper Esprit and New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, with Earlybird, June, Vsquared and USV also participating in the round. This follows on the heels of the startup’s €27 million Series C round in January 2020, bringing the total amount of funding raised in this round to €52 million.

Additional simulation capabilities

Draper Esprit typically invests in technology companies and its diverse portfolio includes Revolut, N26 and Irish drone delivery service Manna. Its investment in SimScale will allow the platform to expand into new industries, such as rotating machinery, electronics and automotive, by adding additional simulation capabilities, as well as to broaden its enterprise offering to larger customers to further its vision of removing barriers to entry for engineering simulations across teams, applications and industries.

Designing the best products

Founded in 2012 with offices in Munich and Boston, SimScale’s web-based solution aims to remove the pain points of traditional, expensive computer aided engineering (CAE) software so engineering teams can focus on what matters most: designing the best products. A cloud-native engineering simulation platform, the SimScale software enables engineering teams to get designs right faster by making highly accurate, end-to-end engineering simulations technically and economically accessible for any organisation, anywhere in the world.

Many existing CAE solutions are difficult to use and cannot be scaled efficiently without the need for sizable amounts of both hardware and maintenance investment into software licenses, high performance computing (HPC) hardware and beyond. Existing software is also generally inflexible for customers looking for customisable engineering workflows and often requires significant time expenditures due to the difficulty of deploying the software.

Delivering simulations via cloud

The SaaS solution delivers simulations via the cloud with the accuracy required for late-stage design validation, in addition to the ease-of-use needed for early-stage design simulation. With over 300,000 current users, the platform enables access to engineering simulations across R&D stages and cycles, applications and industries, and enables engineers to collaborate in real-time by default without the need for any hardware or maintenance investment.

$5.2B-worth global CAE market in 2020

According to a Jan 2021 report by Global Industry Analysts Inc, the global CAE market was worth an estimated $5.2B in 2020 and is anticipated to reach $8.7B by 2026, demonstrating the scale of the market opportunity. This new investment also comes off the back of SimScale’s recent strategic partnership with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software company Simerics, making high-fidelity CFD models available in the cloud through the SimScale engineering simulation platform.

With the new platform, users are able to scale and optimise simulations and harness the virtually unlimited computational resources of the cloud to power best-in-class simulations of engineering problems. It also drives exceptional value for money through usage-based pricing, which makes the platform economically accessible and customisable based on budget.

Creating efficiencies on periphery of engineering

David Heiny, Co-founder and CEO at SimScale, said: “Our vision is to make engineering simulation a standard tool in every engineer’s tool kit, and accessible early in the design stage, throughout the entire R&D cycle, and across teams, applications and industries. With hundreds of thousands of users and millions of simulation jobs carried out, we’ve made significant progress towards it in recent years. Yet, there are still entire industry sectors that we haven’t started addressing yet, and billions of dollars in CAE market value left untapped.”

Christoph Hornung, Investment Director at Draper Esprit said: “SimScale isn’t just creating efficiencies on the periphery of engineering. By bringing top class, traditionally in-house simulation technology into the cloud, it is primed to revolutionise an entire industry.”