ZURICH, Switzerland, August 9, 2023 — Nabtesco Technology Ventures (NTV) has invested into sewts, a provider of software and robotic solutions for textile handling. The €7 million funding round, which was joined by new investors CNB Capital, EquityPitcher Ventures and Emerald Technology Ventures, as well as further contributions from existing investors Bayern Kapital, APEX Ventures and HTGF, will help sewts expand production and sales to major clients in the industrial laundry and “reverse logistics” space.

Munich-based sewts has developed a software platform powered by neural networks that enables robots to handle various types of textile. A combination of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and simulation of materials makes sewts’ approach unique. The first commercial product stemming from this platform is called sewts.VELUM, a robotic unit that feeds towels and bathmats into folding machines. sewts.VELUM is capable of grabbing crumpled terry cloth and feeding it into a folding machine at human-like speed.

sewts, which was founded in 2019 and installed its first sewts.VELUM unit in 2022, is well-positioned to help industrial laundries navigate increasingly severe labor shortages. This large sector—the global industrial laundry and linen supply sector is estimated to be worth over $100 billion and is growing annually at around 3.2%—has historically been underserved by robotics technology, leaving a gap for an insurgent like sewts to fill.

sewts currently hones its offering across sewts.VELUM and its other products. It intends to enhance their efficiency and capacity, enabling functions like defect detection and harmonization of several sewts.VELUM units in one facility. However, sewts’ larger vision is to tap into broader applications across the textile industry, such as the automation of returns handling in e-commerce (so-called reverse logistics) and of fashion manufacturing.

Switzerland-based clean- and industrial-tech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures advised NTV on the deal under its unique corporate venture capital-as-a-service mandate. Under this framework, Emerald manages NTV’s investment activities, aiming to provide the best value for collaboration with startups for Nabtesco, a world leader in motion control technologies.

NTV’s investment in sewts will help drive the strategic goals of Nabtesco, in this case contributing to tackling the social-economic challenges in Japan by accessing sewts’ unique technology component (AI + software) to handle textile and deformable materials.



About sewts

sewts is bridging one of the last gaps of automation and opening up entirely new spheres of application for robotics. By providing robots with human-like perception and grabbing skills, sewts makes the automatic handling of deformable materials possible. sewts’ mission is to simplify complex manual labor into streamlined automation.

About Nabtesco Technology Ventures

Nabtesco Technology Ventures is a corporate venture fund launched in 2018 by Japan’s Nabtesco Corporation, in partnership with Emerald Technology Ventures, a global leader in technology venture capital. The fund deepens Nabtesco’s involvement in the development of disruptive ventures around the world, strengthening our pursuit of open innovation, a key pillar of our company’s growth strategy. The EUR 75 million fund invests primarily, but not exclusively, in robotics, motors, sensors, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things technologies. Nabtesco Technology Ventures reinforces Nabtesco Corporation’s position as a global leader in manufacturing technology, accelerating investment and collaboration around the world. For more information, please visit nabtesco-ventures.com.



Alexander Bley
Nabtesco Technology Ventures