University of New Mexico Spinout, Comet Solutions, Raises Additional Venture Capital Funds

Comet Solutions, a software engineering firm which has commercialized technology developed at the University of New Mexico has received another $3.5 million investment to continue developing and marketing its simulation software platform for product design.

The company, which launched in 2004, has now received almost $14 million from venture funds including the New Mexico Angels. Backers include Athenian Venture Partners, Flywheel Ventures, the Tri-State Growth Capital Fund and Sun Mountain Capital.

Comet Solutions markets simulation software for engineering firms that integrates all product development into a single platform. That allows design engineers to fully share information and collectively coordinate product development. Comet Solutions® provides software and services that simplify the complex process of engineering product systems. Comet has developed a suite of powerful and web-deployable SimApps™, which embed expert knowledge and methods, but remove the complexity of general purpose Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools. SimApps make design-driven simulation suitable for use by everyone from CAE experts to design engineers. With Comet SimApps, companies exploit the full potential of their existing CAD/CAE/PLM tools and resources by exploring more design alternatives, enabling product innovation and the rapid development of higher quality and more cost-effective products.

Solution-specific Simulation Applications (SimApps) are targeted, easy-to-use applications that drive complex simulation templates, and speak the language of the user/engineer. SimApps allow product designers and engineers, without expertise in the use of simulation tools, to safely and quickly evaluate their designs using complex simulations.

In company press releases Comet Solutions CTO, Malcolm Panthaki said “Simulation has been the exclusive domain of too few for too long. It’s time to put to rest the notion that simulation cannot be safely used unless you have deep expertise in the art of extracting reasonable results from today’s simulation software. Comet SimApps deliver the full power of simulation to everyone who needs it, from a salesman who needs to understand the feasibility and cost of a design that meets customer requirements, to a systems engineer who wishes to accurately compare the relative tradeoffs of various architectures, to design engineers who need accurate and rapid assessments of the change in performance of a design variation, to a junior engineer who is still learning the intricacies of CAE codes.”

Comet has gained market traction with manufacturers in the U.S. and in Asian countries, including aerospace, automotive and electronics firms. Customers include companies such as American Axle & Manufacturing, Magnum Pi Automotive and Intel Corp. The company has made significant market progress in Asia, including in China, where it has five distribution partners and operates a local office. Comet also has a software development team based in India.


Executive Interview:  Guy Soreq

This month we interviewed Guy Soreq, Marketing Manager at GlowLit a startup company from Columbia University. GlowLit is the world’s most transparent pricing database community that is changing the way purchasing managers’ plan for their Raw Material purchases.

GlowLit holds a growing database of Raw Material prices. Unlike other pricing data base sites, all of this information is entirely shared by those who know the product best — the purchasing managers. All done anonymously, no other site allows you to see recent delivered prices of Raw Materials in your location.

Q.  Can you explain in layman’s terms what GlowLit does?

GlowLit presents a new business model to the market research industry. Instead of charging money from buyers of raw material, GlowLit offers buyers a free platform to compare raw material prices. By collecting data points from small buyers that up until now did not get served by the market research, GlowLit is able to paint a picture of global supply and demand, information that manufacturers of raw material crave for.

Q.  How did your company get its start?

I have been working as a chemical sales person all of my life. After working at McKinsey and Company, I was hired by Solvay to sell specialty products to unique buyers. It was at that role that I saw the need for information, both from the manufacturer and the seller side. Specific courses at Columbia Business School allowed me to connect several dots and build what GlowLit is today.

Q.  What are your potential markets?

GlowLit’s services are applicable to any B2B company that buys raw materials. Among the industries the platform currently serves are Plastics, Petrochemicals, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceutical products and food manufacturing.

Q. What are your visions for GlowLit over the next 5-10 years?

Many industries today have a transparent pricing system. A customer that goes into BestBuy can check with a flick of a finger what the new gadget will cost them if they bought it from Amazon. GlowLit will offer that level of service but to purchases worth millions of dollars, in every manufacturing industry, in every corner of the earth.