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Comet wins $3.5 million investment

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Software engineering firm Comet Solutions Inc. has received another $3.5 million investment from venture capitalists to continue developing and marketing its simulation software platform for product design.

The company, which launched in 2004 with technology developed at the University of New Mexico, has now received nearly $14 million from four venture funds and the New Mexico Angels. Backers include Athenian Venture Partners, Flywheel Ventures, the Tri-State Growth Capital Fund and Sun Mountain Capital — which manages the New Mexico State Investment Council’s co-investment fund for equity commitments to startup companies.

All the original investors participated in the follow-on round, said Comet President and CEO Dan Meyer.

“Nobody was on the sidelines,” Meyer said. “It shows pretty broad-based support for the progress we’re making.”

The company 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 has gained a lot of market traction among manufacturers in the U.S. and in Asian countries, especially among aerospace and automotive firms, and more recently in the electronics industry. That includes such giants as American Axle & Manufacturing, Magnum Pi Automotive and Intel Corp.

The company has made particularly strong headway in Asia, especially in China, where it has five distribution partners and operates a local office. It also has a software development team based in India.

“The company has done a good job of building out its global market presence,” said Flywheel Ventures Managing Partner Trevor Loy. “About half their revenue now comes from customers overseas.”

Comet expanded its customer base in recent years by making its software more accessible and easier to use for all engineers connected to the platform. It created new templates to automate simulation processes, making it simple to use even for engineers with little experience using computer-aided engineering software.

The software is now also available through cloud computing platforms, allowing customers to pay for use rather than buy the full software package.

“That’s allows small- and medium-sized companies to take advantage of it because it’s not cost-prohibitive,” Meyer said.

That’s attracting a lot more customers.

“They’re doing very well,” said Sun Mountain General Partner Rand . “They’re getting some really large-scale adopters.”

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