Divergent, the Los Angeles-based startup that aims to revolutionize vehicle manufacturing, has cut around a third of its employees in the COVID 19 pandemic, which has caused startups and large companies alike.
The company, which employs approximately 160 people, fired 57 people according to documents submitted to the California Department of Employment Development. Founder and CEO Kevin Czinger no specific numbers given. However, he confirmed to theinformationsuperhighway that he had to cut staff due to the COVID 19 pandemic. A core team remains, he said.
"Whenever you do something that affects people's work – especially in a company where I basically recruited everyone and know everyone by face and name – it is obviously very painful to do so under all circumstances do, "said Czinger in an interview this week.
The company's # 1 priority was to ensure long-term financial stability and secure the core team, technology development and customer programs regardless of the scenario, Czinger said, adding that there is still tremendous uncertainty about the actual impact and duration of the COVID exist -19 pandemic.
"This was about making the company as weatherproof as possible," said Czinger.
Deviating 3D is essentially a tier 1 supplier to the automotive and aerospace industries. But it can hardly be considered a traditional supplier. After stepping down as CEO of the now defunct EV startup Coda Automotive in 2010, Czinger focused on how the vehicle manufacturing process can become more efficient and less wasteful.
Divergent 3D emerged from this initial exploration. The company developed an additive manufacturing platform that makes it easier and faster to design and build new cars at a fraction of the cost – while reducing the environmental impact of traditional factories.
The platform is an end-to-end digital production system that uses high-speed 3D printers to make complex parts from metal alloys. This system creates the structures of vehicles, such as. B. the full frame, subframe and suspension structures that are part of the crash performance structure of the vehicle.
In its early years as a company, Divergent 3D was perhaps best known for Blade, the first automobile to use 3D printing to shape the body and chassis. Divergent 3D made Blade – which was on the auto show circuit in 2016 – to demonstrate the technology platform.
It was enough to grab the attention of investors and at least two global OEMs as customers. Divergent cannot name the customers based on confidentiality agreements.
The company has raised approximately $ 150 million from investors, including the Horizons Ventures venture capital fund. Altran Technologies, the automotive and aerospace services company, and Chinese lender O Luxe Holdings, an investment conglomerate supported by Hong Kong-based real estate investment tycoon Li Ka-shing and Shanghai Alliance Investment Limited, an investment arm of the Shanghai city government.
The latest example of Divergent technology is the 21C, a hyperauto launched in March that was built with the additive manufacturing platform. The powerful 3D printed vehicle was manufactured by Czinger Vehicles. Divergent 3D and Czinger Vehicles are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Divergent Technologies.
Czinger said the company is ready to deal with the pandemic and ultimately survive. Divergent 3D has two global OEMs as customers. Structures such as housing components and subframes, for which Divergent has supply contracts, go through various test and validation phases depending on the program. These programs, which are intended for production vehicles, are progressing, said Czinger.
There will be delays because automakers have slowed down or stopped operations. Czinger hopes that the company will be able to announce by 2021 that its 3D-printed structures are series vehicles.