Framework raises $18m for sustainable laptop
US startup Framework has raised $18m (€16m) to further develop its modular, fully upgradeable and repairable laptop technology.
The Series A round was led by Spark Capital alongside Pathbreaker Ventures, Anorak Ventures, and Formic Ventures from the seed round. The company raised $3m in that round last year for its design, where all the elements of a laptop can be replaced and upgraded to avoid e-waste.
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“This industry is long overdue for deeply personal products that are designed to last,” said Nirav Patel, founder of Framework and a former director of engineering at Facebook after the acquisition of VR startup Oculus. “I know the team at Spark from Oculus where they had also led our Series A, and I’m excited to be working with them again. They both come from and have helped grow some of the strongest consumer brands out there. Kevin Thau who is joining our Board was one of the earliest hires at Twitter and a key leader on product and partnerships there.”
The first Framework 13in laptop has options for Intel i3 and i5 processors, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory, solid state drives up to 1TByte and WiFi 6 modules but also has four ports for third party modules.
“We’re using this $18m to fund development of upcoming product categories and the long roadmap of new modules and geographic expansion for the Framework Laptop. Much like our products are built around longevity, we’re building this company for the long haul. We don’t need investor funding to keep the lights on; we instead use it to accelerate bringing upgradeability, customization, and repair to more of consumer electronics. This funding unlocks categories even more ambitious than our first one. We have a detailed plan in place for the next two years and napkin sketch ideas going out a couple of decades.”
The aim is to build an ecosystem of module suppliers around the technology.
“Our commitment is to always align incentives around longevity,” said Patel. “Products that can be upgraded, customized, and repaired to last longer are better for consumers and less harmful to the environment, while also being the core of our business model. We want to minimize the amount of material sitting in a drawer or going to a landfill and the larger the active install base is on a Framework product, the healthier the marketplace around it can be, supporting new modules, fostering a market for used parts and products, and enabling a broader range of users and use cases. We’re already seeing the early stages of this with the Expansion Card Developer Program, and we have a lot more planned for the Marketplace and the Framework Laptop ecosystem in 2022.”
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