CAMBRIO is a global software platform delivering CAD/CAM software to customers in manufacturing industries such as automotive, electronic, medical, white goods and aerospace.
Battery has a long history of investing in the fast-growing CAD/CAM market, notably its investment in the U.K.’s Vero Software* in 2010. As part of the team’s research leading to the Vero investment, it also came across several other companies in the sector—companies the firm was able to acquire and combine, eventually, into a platform called CAMBRIO. It’s an example of Battery’s long-term, research-focused “buy and build” strategy, through which the firm partners with management teams to create platforms in various software sectors and promotes growth organically and through targeted acquisitions.
The first piece in the CAMBRIO puzzle was SigmaTEK, a Cincinnati, Ohio company which makes CAM software primarily for the metal-fabrication market. Specifically, SigmaTEK’s flagship SigmaNEST product leverages highly advanced algorithms to automate the “nesting” process for laying out and cutting materials—including metal, wood and composite—on the shop floor. Battery kept in touch with the company, which was family-owned and founded in 1983, for several years after the Vero due diligence, finally meeting the management team in 2016. Former Vero CEO Richard Smith, who later joined Battery as an executive-in-residence after Vero was sold in 2014, participated in the meetings and was helpful in informing SigmaTEK’s decision to partner with Battery. In 2018, Battery purchased a controlling stake in the company. Existing Battery portfolio-company CEOs Randy Eckels, who leads Clubessential Holdings, and Steve Sivitter, who ran Vero after it was acquired by Hexagon, joined the board.
Then, two years later, Battery had an opportunity to purchase two more, related companies, which the firm had also first encountered years before: Cimatron, which makes integrated CAD/CAM software for tooling, and GibbsCAM, which provides single-interface CAM software for CNC (computer numerical control) programming to create instructions for computers to control a manufacturing machine tool. By the time Battery acquired Cimatron and GibbsCAM, they were part of 3D Systems Corp. In the summer of 2020, Battery worked with 3D Systems to fashion a carve-out deal, which was announced in Nov. 2020.
In just three years, Battery was able to leverage the businesses of all three companies to build a global, diversified CAD/CAM business, rebranded as CAMBRIO. Specifically, Battery:
- Recruited a new CEO for the combined platform, veteran technology executive Robbie Payne, allowing original SigmaTEK CEO Ben TerreBlanche to retire.
- Acquired the combined Cimatron and GibbsCAM software businesses from 3D Systems, allowing the combined company to offer a more-diverse set of design and machining-software solutions and position itself as a prominent, global, CAD/CAM innovator in the fabrication, toolmaking and production-machining industries.
- Recruited several top executives who were able to integrate and scale the combined company. These included CFO Jason Hayes, who came from Horizon Software (a Roper Technologies company), as well as several ex-Vero executives. These included Nick Spurrett, who became vice president and general manager for GibbsCAM; Antonio Parisse, recruited as VP and GM for Cimatron; Marc Freebrey, who led CAMBRIO’s marketing; and Patricia Nemeth, who went on to run global human resources. SigmaTEK’s CTO, Glenn Durham, was promoted to group CTO at CAMBRIO, while Kevin Ramirez was elevated to VP and ran sales at the SigmaTEK unit.
CAMBRIO was acquired by Swedish engineering company Sandvik AB in 2021.
The presented case study investment was made in particular economic and market conditions. There can be no assurance that Battery Venture would elect, or be able, to exploit similar opportunities in a similar manner under similar or different economic and market conditions. More generally, there can be no assurances that the Battery vehicles will have comparable investment opportunities in the future. No assumptions should be made that any investments identified above were profitable. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or comparable to the portfolio company described in this case study. For a full list of all Battery Ventures investments, please click here.
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