We are delighted to announce our investment in DeepForm, as part of a £2m funding round. DeepForm’s novel solution can reduce material waste in car manufacturing by over 75%, as well as helping manufacturers reduce CO2 emissions.

London, June 2024: University of Cambridge spinout, DeepForm, today announces it has raised £2 million in seed funding to advance its innovative technology for saving material and reducing CO2 emissions in the automotive industry.

Parkwalk Advisors, the UK’s most active investor in university spinouts, led the seed round committing £1.5 million with Cambridge Enterprise investing £500,000.

The DeepForm solution uses novel 3-D gripping technology that is now being commercialised following a decade of research at the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering. DeepForm’s solution has already been used in carbon reduction studies with six OEMs.

On average, 44% of metal purchased for producing car body structures is trimmed off and scrapped during manufacturing. This occurs because traditional gripping methods used for pressing car parts from sheet metal require a large extra surface around the perimeter which is later removed. DeepForm is commercialising new stamping tool technology that drops into current production lines, dramatically reducing the need for excess perimeter material, cutting waste by over 75%.

One major OEM has identified the potential for DeepForm technology to save over 35,000 tonnes of metal and 100,000 tonnes of CO2e per year in its operations, and has embarked on an initiative to formulate huge materials savings in its next generation vehicles – utilising DeepForm’s solution.

Chris Cleaver, Chief Executive at DeepForm, said: “We are seeing a huge amount of interest from the automotive industry. Our technology brings both carbon savings and significant cost avoidance, and as a drop-in to existing production lines the barrier to adoption is not so high. Having Parkwalk Advisors and Cambridge Enterprise on board as valued investors is already enabling us to meet this demand and deliver more projects for our customers.”

Moray Wright, Chief Executive at Parkwalk, said: “Automobile manufacturers around the world have committed to reach net zero both from tailpipe emissions and manufacturing. DeepForm’s technology has the potential to reduce wastage and emissions from vehicle production, and has wide ranging commercial applications. We are thrilled to have led DeepForm’s first funding round – a great testament of our commitment to help fund revolutionary ideas from UK universities.”

Chris Gibbs, Investment Director at Cambridge Enterprise Ventures said: “Manufacturing is a difficult activity for the transport sector to abate and the industry is searching for solutions. This elegant and game-changing innovation, developed by Chris and Julian at the University of Cambridge, will eliminate waste and carbon emission from vehicle manufacture. Cambridge Enterprise Ventures has supported DeepForm from the beginning and is thrilled to be a part of its ongoing journey. We’re also delighted to invest alongside Parkwalk Advisors in this Seed round, continuing our successful decade of co-investment.”

DeepForm was founded in early 2022 by Chris Cleaver and Julian Allwood. Chris Cleaver is the Chief Executive of DeepForm and a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow, he was previously a senior researcher at the University of Cambridge working on novel manufacturing processes for improved resource efficiency. Professor Julian Attwood is a Non-Executive Director at DeepForm and leader of the Use Less Group, a collection of world-leading researchers working on the sustainable use of materials, energy and resources at the University of Cambridge.

To find out more about DeepForm visit their website or our portfolio page here.