San Francisco startup MaintainX raises $50 million to bring A.I. to industrial operations

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MaintainX, a San Francisco-based startup that provides software for industrial maintenance, quietly announced on Wednesday that it has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures (BCV), one of the largest investors in growth-stage companies.

The investment, which valued the company at $1 billion, makes it the latest entrant to the unicorn club this year. The funding will help MaintainX expand its research and development, enhance its artificial intelligence capabilities, and grow its customer base.

The company, founded in 2018, offers a mobile platform that allows frontline workers to communicate with their managers, track their tasks, access manuals and checklists, and report issues in real-time.

(Image Credit: MaintainX)

The platform also collects and analyzes data from various sources, such as sensors, equipment usage and parts inventory, to provide insights and recommendations for improving operational efficiency and reducing downtime.

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MaintainX’s software is already used by more than 6,500 customers across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, energy, hospitality, and food and beverage. Some of its notable customers are Duracell, Marriott, Volvo, AB InBev, McDonald’s and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In an exclusive interview with VentureBeat, Chris Turlica, the CEO and co-founder of MaintainX, said that the company’s vision was to create a “zero-downtime future” for industrial operations, by using artificial intelligence and large sets of real-time data to preemptively identify and prevent potential breakdowns and operational hiccups.

“We are currently the leader in our market, and we want to keep running faster than everyone else,” he said in the immediate wake of the fundraising announcement. “The number one thing by far is R&D. There’s so much data that MaintainX is capturing every day from IoT sensors to parts usage, and there’s a lot more we want to do with that data to provide insights to these companies.”

A new generation of software users

Turlica also said that the company’s software was designed to cater to the needs and preferences of a new generation of frontline professionals and purchasing managers, who value user-friendly and intuitive software stacks.

“We are seeing a changing of the guard in the industrial sector, where the new buyers are not the old-school IT guys, but the actual users of the software, the frontline workers, the plant managers, the maintenance managers,” he said. “They are the ones who are making the decisions, and they are looking for software that is easy to use, easy to deploy, and easy to integrate with their existing systems.”

Merritt Hummer, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, who led the investment and joined MaintainX’s board of directors, said that she was impressed by the company’s growth, product quality, and customer satisfaction.

“MaintainX is one of the best emerging growth-stage companies out there, full stop,” she said. “The combination of the quality of the founding team, the enormous market opportunity, and the performance of the business to date, all three are extraordinary.”

Hummer also said that Bain Capital, which has a portfolio of more than 400 companies, including many industrial and manufacturing businesses, could help MaintainX scale up and reach new customers.

“We are owners of dozens of very large companies, manufacturers, industrials, companies, distributors, who are perfect prospective customers for MaintainX,” she said. “And so a big part of our thesis is that we will be able to add value to the company by facilitating introductions and encouraging some of our companies to adopt the software that we know has resonated so well with similar companies.”

A growing market opportunity

The industrial maintenance sector, which is estimated to be worth more than $49 billion globally, according to Allied Market Research, has seen increased demand for software solutions that can help optimize workflows, reduce costs, and ensure compliance. The COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted global supply chains and forced many businesses to adopt remote work models, has also accelerated the adoption of digital technologies in the sector.

MaintainX, which competes with other players such as UpKeep, Fiix, and eMaint, has seen its revenue grow 13 times since its previous funding round in 2021 when it raised $39 million in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners. 

The company’s success in securing substantial funding for R&D indicates investor confidence in its mission and its ability to leverage artificial intelligence to transform industrial maintenance. Also, participation in the funding round from high-profile business leaders like former GE CEO Jeff Immelt underscores MaintainX’s traction.

As artificial intelligence and big data continue to shape the future of various industries, MaintainX’s focus on these areas may position the company advantageously in the marketplace. With its mission to reduce operational downtime by leveraging AI, MaintainX is set to disrupt the industrial maintenance sector in a major way.

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