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Luminary Cloud Emerges from Stealth, Empowering R&D with Realtime Engineering

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With $115 million in funding, led by Sutter Hill Ventures, the company aims to democratize computer-aided engineering, accelerating design cycles and time to market

SAN MATEO, Calif., March 13, 2024-- Luminary Cloud, a pioneer in realtime engineering, today announced its official launch out of stealth. A computer-aided engineering (CAE) SaaS platform, Luminary empowers smarter and faster design cycles, allowing engineers to develop better products in a fraction of the time. Backed by Sutter Hill Ventures, which led its $115 million funding, Luminary's customers span industries including aerospace and defense, automotive, sporting goods, industrial equipment, and more.

"While software engineering has become more agile thanks to advances in cloud technologies, physical engineering hasn't kept pace, despite increasing pressure to deliver advanced products faster and more efficiently," said Jason Lango, co-founder and CEO of Luminary Cloud. "Our platform empowers R&D teams to analyze, design, and innovate faster than they ever could before, which is crucial when facing strong and globally competitive markets that demand better products in shorter time frames. We want to change the way that engineers get their work done and help them build the products of the future."

Keeping up with innovation

Digital simulations are a crucial step of the R&D process, as they allow engineers to create virtual prototypes and understand how they perform in realistic environments – including considerations such as air and water flows, temperature and pressure distributions, and aerodynamic drag – and make modifications and improvements long before a physical product comes to market. Real-world testing is costly and time-consuming – when engineers are able to try multiple alternatives purely based on simulation, it decreases risk and improves product performance and quality. But today's CAE solutions aren't delivering the rapid iteration needed to meet market demands, consumer expectations, and regulatory pressures. Instead, most engineers use legacy software that runs on on-premises infrastructure – which can be challenging and expensive to scale – resulting in a slow design process where each simulation takes days or weeks.

Introducing realtime engineering

Luminary's platform makes it possible to run high-fidelity simulations 100 times faster than legacy vendors by leveraging the raw speed of GPU- and cloud-based processing. Its proprietary simulation platform is powered by massively parallel NVIDIA GPU clusters in the cloud. With hyper-fast and accurate simulations, engineers can iterate and test a variety of scenarios, answer more questions, and use these insights to optimize product design.

This new approach significantly speeds up time to commercialization of the best design by compressing traditional development processes. With Luminary, engineering teams save months in their R&D schedules, drastically reducing product testing costs and reducing risk in the process. Luminary allows for an unlimited number of users, unlike the traditional per-user licensing costs associated with legacy software. This usage-based pricing model combined with Luminary's cloud-first approach enables collaboration and accessibility by large, geographically distributed teams.

Luminary makes the end-to-end engineering workflow easier and faster via a modern web-based user experience, enhanced by AI. Lumi AI, Luminary's AI-based engineering design copilot, cuts down the time engineers spend in setup and simulation, so they can spend more time analyzing and optimizing. For example, Lumi AI replaces the traditionally tedious, manual, and time-consuming steps of mesh generation by intelligently adapting the computational mesh for higher accuracy and efficiency.

"Success in virtual testing requires advanced accuracy, speed, and versatility, and Luminary Cloud's realtime engineering brings the industry closer than ever to that ideal," said Bill Dally, chief scientist and SVP of research at NVIDIA. "We're very proud to make it possible for innovative new companies like Luminary to incorporate AI and accelerate computing to change the way more great ideas happen."

Luminary is designed to help engineers create the products of the future, while solving modern challenges, such as increasing the range of electric vehicles, fuel-burn reductions of aircraft, achieving energy efficiency goals set out by federal regulators, and increasing product safety. The company's customers span industries – from cutting-edge electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles to leading sporting equipment providers – and include companies like Joby Aviation, Sceye, Piper Aircraft, Trek Bikes, and Cobra Golf (a subsidiary of Puma). By using Luminary's technology, Mueller Co. LLC, one of North America's largest water infrastructure manufacturers, estimates that it avoided $100,000 in physical prototyping costs and two months of predicted engineering time only two months after starting to use Luminary's software. Digital simulations that took Mueller Co. hours to run with their previous simulation solution, can now be completed in minutes, and yield significantly more accurate results.

Gregor Mikić, chief aerodynamicist at Joby Aviation, said: "With Luminary, we can quickly distinguish between ideas we should pursue, and those we should abandon. We are able to take complete aircraft configurations and run them in complex simulations in a matter of minutes, saving a significant amount of time. Luminary provides us with an entire set of tools that take us from geometry to result."

Luminary was founded by Lango, an expert in high-performance systems who also founded Bracket Computing and was acquired by VMWare in 2018, and Juan Alonso, the founder of Stanford's Aerospace Design Laboratory and a former director of NASA Aeronautics research programs. Alongside a multidisciplinary team of experts in physics, numerical methods, GPU and cloud computing, and ML/AI, Lango and Alonso are on a mission to democratize and modernize high-performance computing for engineering and science.

Luminary was incubated by Sutter Hill Ventures beginning in 2019. Mike Speiser, a managing director of Sutter Hill Ventures and founding CEO of Snowflake and Pure Storage, serves on the board of Luminary. He noted, "Jason and Juan are bringing the power of GPUs and the elasticity of the cloud to one of the most complex engineering functions. Just as Snowflake disrupted the antiquated on-premises database market, Luminary Cloud has the potential to do the same for computer-aided engineering by overhauling the expensive and arduous process of product development."

Luminary has launched their realtime engineering platform for enterprise consumption. For more information on Luminary or to sign-up for a demo, visit www.luminarycloud.com.

About Luminary Cloud, Inc.

Luminary Cloud is a pioneer of cloud-native, computer-aided engineering (CAE) software that empowers engineers to achieve their vision in real time. The company was founded in 2019 by Jason Lango, an expert in high-performance computing, cloud-based infrastructure, and cloud security, and Juan Alonso, the founder of Stanford's Aerospace Design Laboratory and former director of NASA Aeronautics research programs. Customers span industries from cutting-edge electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to leading sporting equipment providers, including Joby Aviation, Piper Aircraft, Trek Bikes and Cobra Golf (a subsidiary of Puma). For more information, visit www.luminarycloud.com.

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