HOUSTON INNOVATORS PODCAST EPISODE 87
Global electronics manufacturing is changing — and this Houston company is leading the way
When the pandemic hit, global supply chains across industries were affected, and major corporations and consumers alike continue to be affected — especially when it comes to manufacturing.
In March, General Motors had to shutdown production at three factories due to the global shortage of semiconductors, while gaming systems like PlayStation and Xbox are dealing with a chip shortage that will affect production into next year.
Houston-based MacroFab has a solution. The company has developed a software solution and digital platform to optimize electronics manufacturing by creating a network of factories across North America. The growing business, which was founded in 2013 by Chris Church, saw a setback at the beginning of the pandemic just like most industries. But, Misha Govshteyn, CEO of MacroFab, says the company finished last year on track.
"We really reignited our growth in the second half of 2020 just as the economy started to reopen," Govshteyn says on this week's episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "We had about 100 percent growth in the second half of the year, and that really led to our ability to close our most recent round."
That round — a $15 million series B — was led by New Jersey-based Edison Partners. ATX Venture Partners also participated, along with strategic investor Altium Limited, a leader in the electronics design software space. Govshteyn says that it's an important moment for MacroFab to prove out its solution to manufacturing.
"In a lot of ways, the concepts we've been talking about actually crystalized during the pandemic. For a lot of people, it was theoretically that supply chain resiliency is important," Govshteyn says. "Single sourcing from a country halfway around the world might not be the best solution. ... When you have all your eggs in one basket, sooner or later you're going to have a break in your supply chain. And we've seen nothing but breaks in supply chains for the last five years."
For years, global manufacturers have faced supply chain challenges with tariffs, and the pandemic and its accompanying shutdowns took these challenges to a whole new level.
"Supply chains haven't recovered — if anything, things have gotten worse. It's a perfect storm of customers realizing they have to rethink the way they source products," Govshteyn says.
One of the ways to bring the logistics of the process into the modern era. Some industries, like plastics manufacturing, are already doing this, Govshteyn says, but MacroFab has a huge opportunity within electronics.
"We think everything's going to look like a cloud service in the future. Everything is going to be software-driven, and API-addressable," Govshteyn says. "We're staking a claim to electronics manufacturing being one of those areas — and we're still the only company doing so."
Govshteyn shares more about the manufacturing business and the role Houston is playing on the episode. Listen to the full interview below — or wherever you stream your podcasts — and subscribe for weekly episodes