AI startup Quilter secures $10M funding led by Benchmark to revolutionize circuit board design with AI

Circuit board design startup Quilter announced on Tuesday it raised $10 million in funding to advance a revolutionary approach to circuit board design using artificial intelligence (AI). The funding marks a significant step forward for Quilter, positioning it alongside tech giants such as Google and Meta, who have also embraced AI technology to drive rapid innovation and growth.

Led by Benchmark, a prominent venture capital firm with a track record of successful early investments in companies like eBay, Uber, Snap, and Instagram (now part of Meta Platforms), the Series A funding round underscores the confidence in Quilter’s potential. While specific details regarding the company’s valuation remain undisclosed, the infusion of capital signals a strong endorsement of Quilter’s vision and capabilities.

Despite years of research into design automation, circuit board design continues to be slow, laborious, and prone to errors. The field of electronics design automation seems to be stuck in the past, reminiscent of the technology from the 1990s. This is the challenge that Quilter is dedicated to addressing and solving.

Quilter’s breakthrough lies in its AI-driven approach to streamline circuit board design, promising to significantly reduce the time required to develop critical components for various electronic devices, ranging from rockets to smartphones. By harnessing AI, Quilter aims to condense what traditionally took months into a matter of weeks or even days, marking a profound shift in the industry’s efficiency and speed.

According to Quilter’s CEO, Sergiy Nesterenko, the current market for printed circuit board design stands at an estimated $40 billion to $50 billion, with labor costs representing a substantial portion of this expenditure. By leveraging AI technology, Quilter not only aims to expedite the design process but also to enhance cost-effectiveness and overall efficiency, aligning with the evolving needs of electronics companies worldwide.

Founded in 2019, Quilter has rapidly gained traction among leading electronics firms, including Blue Origin, Meta, Tesla, and Toyota, underscoring the widespread adoption of its innovative solutions. Despite its relatively modest size, with just 12 remote employees based in Los Angeles, Quilter’s impact has been significant, driven by its sophisticated AI-powered software.

Drawing parallels with Google’s AI triumph in defeating a Chinese grand master in the ancient game of Go, Quilter’s technology continually improves its circuit board design capabilities over time. With aspirations to achieve full automation of the design process, Quilter aims to overcome the intricate challenges that remain in the final stages of development, a feat that Nesterenko acknowledges as exceptionally challenging yet essential for unlocking the full potential of AI in circuit board design.

By fully automating the design process, Quilter envisions not only expediting timelines but also unlocking cost-saving opportunities and enhancing overall board efficiency. With its sights set on transforming the landscape of circuit board design, Quilter’s innovative approach stands poised to reshape the industry, ushering in a new era of efficiency and progress.

In an interview with Reuters, Nesterenko said: “Just because (software) got to 90% completion doesn’t mean it did 90% of the work. That remaining 10% of the work that is left is really, really difficult.”

Nesterenko also added that achieving full automation in circuit board design could significantly accelerate the process, potentially shrinking it from months down to mere weeks or even days. Additionally, he highlighted strategies to cut costs and enhance the overall efficiency of circuit boards.