Mindesk, a startup developing a platform for real-time CAD collaboration in AR/VR, today announced a $900,000 seed round from HTC Vive, Barcamper Ventures, A11 Venture and Invitalia Ventures.

The company joined VIVE X, HTC’s global VR/AR accelerator program, for its second batch back in 2017, which included investments and mentorship for a total of 33 startups working in the areas of software and hardware for both augmented and virtual reality.

Mindesk has created a plug-in for CAD software such as McNeel Rhinoceros and Grasshopper. Once installed, it allows users to quickly jump in VR to visualize, create and edit 3D CAD projects in their original format. Mindesk has already published its solution for McNeel Rhinoceros and Grasshopper and soon will publish a version for Dassault SolidWorks.

Mindesk was founded in Bari, Italy. With the new seed funding, the company is now moving its headquarters to San Francisco where it will continue to develop its VR software, working between Italy and the US.

Mindesk CEO and co-founder Gabriele Sorrento previously worked as an architect, and wanted to reduce the friction between the designer and client by letting users review and edit a project in the design phase.

“Designers can modify a model in real-time while their client is in VR and even enables clients to make their own edits in headset. Mindesk’s approach to this process facilitates a more collaborative partnership between designer and client,” Sorrento says.

Last November the company participated in Autodesk University, where they unveiled an integration with Unreal Editor in partnership with Epic Games. This integration is said to add photorealism to 3D CAD modeling, and is designed to help enterprise customers use Unreal Engine for non-games applications such as architecture, product design, manufacturing, and film and video making.

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The company is hoping to scale their VR plug-in to other CAD software including SolidWorks, a parametric CAD used in mechanical engineering. Mindesk has already launched a closed beta at the end of February.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
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