Vancouver-based Novarc Technologies, which specializes in automated welding equipment using artificial intelligence (AI), announced it has raised $20 million USD in all-equity Series A funding.
Caterpillar Venture Capital, a subsidiary of the United States (US)-based construction vehicle company Caterpillar, and Export Development Canada (EDC) joined the round led by Graham Partners, which had announced its initial investment in the round in September 2022.
Soroush Karimzadeh, CEO of Novarc Technologies, said in a statement that Caterpillar’s “extensive industry expertise and global presence” align perfectly with the company’s goals.
The Series A closed in July and raised $20 million USD in primary capital and $4 million USD in secondary capital. Graham Partners managing principal, Dennis Dunnegan, is joining the Novarc Technologies board.
Novarc declined to disclose its valuation.
According to Novarc, the funding will go towards expanding its speciality spool-welding robot (SWR) offering, launching its NovAI robotic vision system for automated welding, and its “global expansion,” including hiring additional staff.
The SWR is a collaborative robot (“cobot,”) which is designed for welding tasks involving, for example, pipes, small-pressure vessels like air tanks, and other types of “roll welding,” in which two types of metal are fused together under high pressure. Together with a human operator, Novarc claims its AI-powered platform can automate the pipe-welding process.
Novarc said it currently has SWRs operating in North America, the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, Germany, Saudi Arabia and China, and has recently expanded into Australia.
Novarc said multiple countries are experiencing a serious shortage of skilled welders, and claimed its collaborative SWR will help to eliminate this bottleneck in construction by enabling welders to be more productive and efficient.
Novarc Technologies was co-founded in Vancouver by CEO Soroush Karimzadeh and CTO Reza Abdollahi in 2014.
According to his LinkedIn, Karimzadeh was a senior electrical engineer at Autopro Automation Consultants and project engineer at Andritz Automation in the couple years prior to founding Novarc. According to the Novarc website, Abdollahi was chief engineer at Roboweld for 10 years. Prior to that, he was the managing director and chief engineer at Part Mashad where he designed and built automated machinery and equipment.
Novarc recently raised just over $2 million from the Canadian government’s Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) in June 2023 and has previously secured $2.6 million in growth capital from BDC IP in 2021. The company says it has raised $28 million USD to date.
“Novarc’s team has grown almost 100 percent in the last 12 months, having tripled the number of team members in the past two years,” the company said in an email to BetaKit. “Novarc now has more than 100 team members, and we plan to continue this remarkable growth rate and continue to hire talented individuals to support our product development and marketing.”