VIVE X company, Mindesk, secures $900k for its VR CAD collaboration platform

March 12, 2019 – Following the graduation from VIVE X, HTC VIVE’s global VR/AR accelerator, Mindesk has moved its HQ to San Francisco and will continue to develop VR software in Italy and the US. It was announced yesterday that the company has secured USD $900,000 seed round funding from HTC VIVE, Barcamper Ventures, A11 Venture and Invitalia Ventures.

“We’re excited to see the success and progress Mindesk has made since graduating from the second batch of Vive X companies,” said Marc Metis, Vice President, HTC VIVE. “Vive sees virtual reality having a tremendous impact on the AEC industry and we will continue to invest in companies like Mindesk who are pushing the industry forward.”

Mindesk, a startup founded in 2015 in Bari, Italy, created the platform for real-time CAD collaboration. The company has already published its solution for Robert McNeel & Associates’ Rhinoceros (Rhino) platform and Grasshopper (a computational plugin for Rhino) and will soon publish one for Dassault Systèmes’ SolidWorks design software.

Mindesk’s product is a plug-in for CAD software such as Rhino and Grasshopper. Once installed, it allows multiple users to utilize VR to visualize, create, review and edit 3D CAD projects in real time in their original format.

One aspect of the design collaboration process that Mindesk seeks to address is the issue of costs associated with physical prototype creation, which can be time-consuming and sometimes wasteful due to prototypes no longer being needed or no longer being up to date.

In a blog post from HTC VIVE, Mindesk’s CEO and co-founder Gabriele Sorrento commented: “Our customers are active predominantly in the fields of architecture, ship design, industrial product design and creative arts, all who have tight deadlines and no time to waste in tech frictions.”

He added, “Mindesk’s VR platform keeps a live link between VR and CAD, enabling users to experience and edit a project in the design phase by fully immersing themselves in the virtual environment. Designers can modify a model in real-time while their client is in VR and [the platform] even enables clients to make their own edits in headset. Mindesk’s approach to this process facilitates a more collaborative partnership between designer and client.”

Last November Mindesk participated in Autodesk University, where the company unveiled its forthcoming integration with Unreal Editor in partnership with Epic Games. The company anticipates that this integration will add photorealism to 3D CAD modeling, creating an improved design environment for AEC.

Commenting on the road ahead for Mindesk, Sorrento stated: “Future product offerings will scale on other CAD software including SolidWorks, a parametric CAD used extensively in mechanical engineering.” He added, “We’re excited to be active in the VR B2B software market. VR can be a game-changing productivity solution for many companies while the enterprise is proving to be some of the earliest adopters of new technologies.”

Sergio Buonanno, CEO of Invitalia Venture said: “We are proud of the Italian excellence exhibited by Mindesk. HTC’s investment is evidence of the quality team behind Mindesk and their ability to shape the future of the global VR industry”.

Video credit: Mindesk

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.