BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cumulus Digital Systems, a Massachusetts start-up building an Internet of Tools-powered platform to make industrial facilities safer, cleaner, and more productive, today announced that it has raised a $4.5 million seed financing round led by Brick & Mortar Ventures, with participation from Shell Ventures and Castor Ventures.
Cumulus, a spin-out from Shell’s Cambridge technology center, Shell TechWorks, connects workers, tools, and data to a cloud-hosted software platform to better manage maintenance and construction workflows. The platform collects data from digitally-enabled tools in the field to provide a single source of “truth” for real-time quality assurance and progress tracking. Cumulus replaces the need for expensive and time-consuming inspections to verify the quality and duration of tasks with software and tools that improve speed and accountability.
“Manual work at industrial sites has not changed significantly in the last 50 years,” says Co-Founder & CEO Matthew Kleiman. “Cumulus is transforming maintenance and construction with unprecedented data transparency at the individual worker level. We are collecting and analyzing data that has not existed before today.”
Cumulus’ flagship product is the Smart Torque System (STS), which improves productivity and work quality during safety-critical industrial bolting activities. STS consists of the cloud-hosted Cumulus Control Center and a tablet application, TorqueFit, that communicates with Bluetooth-enabled digital tools in the field.
“Cumulus empowers managers with real-time insight into who completed the work, how long it took them to do it, and how well it was done,” says Co-Founder & President Mark Litke. “This creates an objective and transparent medium of communication between service providers and facility owners.”
STS is currently operational at six facilities in the United States, Canada, and Singapore, with more than 50 sites on six continents in the deployment pipeline. The system has been demonstrated to reduce data review and quality assurance costs by as much as 60% and reduce downtime costs through a better than 99% pass rate during leak testing.
“Our partners at Shell TechWorks and Shell Ventures have set the industry standard for an industrial tech spin-out,” says Curtis Rodgers, Principal at Brick & Mortar Ventures. “We are thrilled to lead this Seed round of financing, as Cumulus is not only an attractive venture investment but also a great chance to formally partner with Shell Ventures as co-investors and corporate innovators. The founding team of Cumulus are exceptional entrepreneurs and we are looking forward to supporting the Cumulus team as they tackle critical problems to improve the safety, productivity, and sustainability of industrial operations.”
“Cumulus embodies the unique capabilities of Shell’s pioneering innovation organizations, marrying our intimate understanding of industrial operations with the entrepreneurial culture and technology capabilities of Shell TechWorks,” says Geert van de Wouw, Vice President Shell Ventures. “The spin-out offers immediate value to Shell assets and addresses an exciting, larger opportunity: the digital capture and optimization of the last manual mile of industrial and manufacturing workflows. We congratulate Shell TechWorks and the Cumulus management team on this milestone.”
For more information visit www.cumulusds.com
Brick & Mortar Ventures
Brick & Mortar Ventures is a San Francisco based early stage venture capital firm focused on emerging technologies that improve the way professionals design, construction, operate, and maintain the built environment. Darren Bechtel, Founder and Managing Director, launched Brick & Mortar Ventures in 2015 to identify, invest in, and grow emerging companies developing innovative software and hardware solutions for the industries of architecture, engineering, construction, and facilities management. The Brick & Mortar team consists of industry professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs who have a passion for advancing the technological sophistication of the construction process across all markets.
Shell Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”). Continuing Shell’s tradition in venture capital since 1997, Shell Venture’s investment focus covers the full energy spectrum from O&G to renewable energy technologies and digital solutions. We are a strategic investor seeking technology companies and business models with energy solutions that can create substantial deployment value. Shell Ventures co-invests with other corporate investors and venture capital funds in both early stage and late stage (growth capital) companies, generally investing $2M-$20M over the life cycle of the deal. For more information go to http://www.shell.com/shell-ventures.
Castor Ventures enables MIT alumni to invest together in ventures connected to MIT alums. Castor Ventures raises a fund each year among accredited MIT alums, providing investors with portfolio of 20-30 companies diversified across sector, stage, and geography, co-investing alongside top venture firms. Castor Ventures is part of a family of funds under Alumni Ventures Group, one of the most active venture firms in the world. The fund is private, for-profit, and not affiliated with MIT.