27 Sep 2015
During a conversation I had with John McEleney, President of Onshape last Monday, he told me why it was a big deal to Onshape.
Onshape was not actively looking for additional investment. Their original investment of some $60 million was sufficient for at least the next year. Rather, Andreessen Horowitz approached them. Of course, McEleney was excited that Onshape was able to more than double its investment, and with the backing of Andreesen Horowitz, raised some $80 million in the round.
What is very attractive is that this investment round comes from the leading high tech investment firm and they get why Onshape is different. You can read about why Andreesen invested in Onsape from Peter Levine’s article entitled “CAD Emerges from the Stone Age to Finally Join the Mobile Era.” Levine is a partner at Andreesen Horowitz. Levine, in the article claims that Onshape truly changes the game in CAD for the first in the last 20 years. Not that the last two decades have not contributed substantially to the field; it’s just that this time has been spent working with the same old, stand alone computer technology. In this new era, systems that embrace document sharing, collaboration, cloud storage, and being mobile-native will rule the roost. Of course this perfectly describes the path taken by Onshape.
What’s surprising to me is that none of Onshape’s competitors seem to have any existing or planned offerings in this arena. It’s not like this is a big surprise either. We have known about Onshapes plans for several years now. I guess, as has been common in the past, it may take several more years, and substantial revenue loss before they wake up to these rapidly approaching changes.
As always, I welcome comments.