Immensa, a MENA-based additive manufacturing and digital inventory platform, raises $20 million

The global energy spare parts market is worth more than $90 billion, with the Middle East representing about 35% of this sector. This sector remains largely unused in existence additive manufacturing and digital inventory platforms which has spread footprints in the medical, aviation, automotive and jewelry industries.

Unlike these industries, which have adopted additive manufacturing and 3D printing for more than a decade, energy The sector has only started to adopt this recently, and one of the startups leading this innovation is based in MENA. Immense.

Built by Fahmi Al Shawwathe startup founded in Dubai began operations in 2016, focusing in the use of additive manufacturing and 3D printing for industrial applications. Two years later, it identified the energy sector as a target market and has now secured $20 million in Series B financing.

Globally, many industries are facing significant global supply chain issues as legacy structures often struggle to meet customer requirements effectively. Industries such as oil and gas, petrochemicals and power generation have one of the most complex supply chains in the world. In an interview with TechCrunch, Al Shawwa noted that some of the largest companies, for example, Equinor, ConocoPhillips and Saudi Electricity Company, are each sitting on more than a billion dollars worth of spare parts, most of which are manufactured in regions outside their headquarters. What additive manufacturing is causing is allowing conglomerates to access spare parts on demand without mass manufacturing in hubs in Southeast Asia, China, or Latin America.

In Immensa’s case, it analyzes parts for its clients and determines the percentage that qualifies for on-demand production, thus reducing its clients’ heavy reliance on imports. To illustrate, when a factory near London experiences turbine issues that require a replacement impeller, a typical process involves placing a request with the purchasing warehouse. If the warehouse has a part, it will be shipped; otherwise, the manufacturer will be contacted. The manufacturer, based in Germany, cooperates with a contract factory in China, which leads the production of the part. After quality control in Germany, the part is shipped to London and then to the client. This shipping process contributes to a carbon footprint that is likely 50% or more of what local production would require.

Immensa’s approach is to streamline the process. If a part breaks down, clients can go online, find the required part and place an order. The order can then be directed to the nearest qualified 3D printing facility, usually around Heathrow or outside London. The part is manufactured quickly and delivered within days, slashing lead times. This not only reduces the overall cost but also removes customs and shipping hassles from the equation.

It is decreasing significantly the spare parts balance sheet of $200-300 million for most of these energy conglomerates, according to Al Shawwa; every year, these companies struggle with unnecessary losses estimated at $30 billion. The transition to a digitized supply chain also offers significant environmental benefits such as reduced wastage and reduced carbon footprint.

“Today, we are the largest company focusing on digital inventory for the energy sector and the energy sector is effectively oil and gas refineries, petrochemicals, power generation, power distribution, utilities , water, nuclear and renewables,” said the founder. , who holds many certifications in additive manufacturing and is one of the pioneers of additive manufacturing in the Middle East.

“All this falls under the details of the energy industry and here we focus on what we do to simplify as an offer: We go to large companies, we look at their physical warehouses, and try we can explore how much this can do. be a digital warehouse or a virtual warehouse where they can press a button and get the part produced on demand.”

The UAE-headquartered startup claims to be the only company that owns and controls the entire digital supply chain in the energy sector. Operating on the DIS RT platform, it provides comprehensive solutions covering assessment, digitization and production-on-demand, effectively addressing the intertwined issues of data security and quality control, as the All processes are conducted in-house or on-site. The company is also promoting the integration of proprietary AI tools in DIS RT, which enables the management of large volumes of data for real-time information processing. Immensa, which has more than 100 additive manufacturing specialists and engineers, also claims to have developed its proprietary hardware systems, improving its competitiveness in the market.

Over the past six years, Immensa has painstakingly tested over a million parts, producing more than 15,000 components. It started in the UAE and Kuwait before expanding to Saudi Arabia. It operates from two main hubs – facilities located in Dubai and Saudi Arabia – serving clients across the Middle East, North Africa and soon in North America as it prepares to reach clients in the US, said Al Shawwa.

Al Shawwa says that Immensa’s clients mostly consist of large oil and gas conglomerates, including well-known entities such as Aramco, Adnoc and Schlumberger. While its focus is on quality clients, the seven-year-old has successfully served a large number in the energy sector, including at least 40 companies, covering end users and original customers. equipment manufacturer (OEM), the players whose market is disrupted by it.

“Until a year and a half ago, most OEMs fought us and accused us of counterfeiting and copying,” said Al Shawwa. “We are careful and careful about not infringing on copyright and intellectual property because we also create our copyright and external part of our core values ​​and ethics, if I copy someone’s property, someone else will copy mine.”

Focusing on older parts and out of warranty or not serviced, Immensa finds itself in an advantageous position. Interestingly, at the end of last year, OEMs started approaching the company; now, it has struck partnerships with four of those companies, to make their parts under license, to help them digitize 3D-printed components, and to pay them royalties in return. This shift shows a positive evolution in its relations within the industry.

Revenues for the Dubai-based startup are generated through the assessment, digitization and exchange platform of these segments. Last year, it reached more than $10 million in revenue, marking a profit; It plans to double these numbers by the end of 2023.

MENA-focused venture capital firm Global Ventures led the latest round of funding for Immensa. The investment attracted participation from new backers, including Endeavor Catalyst Fund and EDGO and continued support from existing investors, such as Energy Capital Group (ECG), Shorooq Partners and Green Coast Investments. This comes two years after Immensa raised $7 million in Series A investment.

Immensa says that the funds obtained will push it from a regional entity to a renowned global solutions provider as it aims to build the largest digital warehouse in the energy sector. The investment will also improve DIS RT and strengthen its AI capabilities, it said in a statement. In addition, Immensa plans to strengthen its current operations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, expecting to enter at least two additional regional countries in the next six months, with Oman likely to be one of them. . The company is active in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan. Meanwhile, expansion into North America is on the horizon within the next 12-18 months, while potential projects in Southeast Asia are currently under evaluation.

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