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Mac CAD News: Visionary Silicon Valley firm joins Onshape Team

Legendary Silicon Valley innovator and venture capitalist firm comes on board cloud-based MCAD disruptor Onshape with $80 million financing round. Onshape utterly destroys the old platform hegemony pressures in the CAD world, opening up innovative design work across multiple OSs and mobile devices as well.


Andreessen Horowitz of Silicon Valley, an early stakeholder in many cloud and mobile game changers such as Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Box, GitHub, Pinterest, Skype and Slack, has just joined the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Onshape team with a $80 million round of equity financing.

Inventor of World’s First Web Browser

Onshape founder, John McEleney, writes: “Part of me feels like this new partnership was fate: Onshape, the first browser-based CAD system, is being supported by Marc Andreessen, the inventor of the world’s first [web] browser.”

McEleney’s post goes on to quote what Wired Magazine calls Marc Andreessen—the “man who makes the future.

Andreessen, at age 22, invented Mosaic, the first graphical web browser, an innovation at the core of the Internet explosion. He cofounded Netscape and took it public in a massive public offering that helped catapult the dotcom boom.

Andreessen’s financial backing of Onshape is a major sign of confidence in the revolutionary cloud-based MCAD startup, the first such company to develop a completely web-driven computer-aided design (CAD) application that can eventually rival and upstage the stalwarts leading the mechanical CAD industry.

CAD is “Eating The World”

Onshape board member, Peter Levine, an industry veteran and expert in writing code for the high-speed graphics cards needed for personal computers to run CAD back in the 1980’s said this about Onshape’s future:

““I look forward to seeing the transformation of the CAD industry, which will bring new efficiencies and productivity to manufacturing and design organizations – as well as independent designers – worldwide,” he writes. “Software, finally, truly eats CAD.”

01 - One quickly notices how Onshape emphasizes their web-app model and platform independence by showing Onshape on Apple's products...but not just because of that but because so many of their customers are wanting to work on them.    Image: Onshape. All rights reserved.

01 – One quickly notices how Onshape emphasizes their web-app model and platform independence by showing Onshape on Apple’s products…but not just because of that but because so many of their customers are wanting to work on them. Image: Onshape. All rights reserved.

The comment refers to Marc Andreessen’s “software is eating the world” mantra, which argues that software development is—and will continue to be—the single most important driver of the global economy.

To learn more about Onshape go here.

Architosh Analysis

McEleney’s post makes the note that the design and manufacturing industries are worth $12 trillion annually and are 100 percent dependent on CAD software. The CAD industry continues to grow each year as more and more industrial markets take up computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided industrial design (CAID), engineering analysis and simulation software and increasingly across all similar industries advanced visualization that is totally dependent on 3D geometry models of products, components, parts, factories and total environments from buildings to cities.

MORE: Smelling blood, HP pounces on Apple’s Pro Mac market

One last note to make. Onshape is proud of its platform independence and unique technology that delivers such powerful CAD entirely through a web browser. It’s solutions are incredible at utilizing “touch” on Apple’s popular mobile devices from iPhone to iPad as well. One of the reasons we argue so passionately for Apple to up its game in the area of Mac hardware design is because these companies are producing software that is platform independent because their customers want that feature. They want any device, anywhere access. Increasingly that means iOS and Mac OS X. In other words—Apple’s operating systems and devices.

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