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Startup gets $20 million to make tech gear in pricey San Francisco

Tempo Automation is making printed circuit boards in San Francisco
Tempo is making printed circuit boards in San Francisco. Photo: Tempo Automation.

Manufacturing printed circuit boards in San Francisco sounds crazy given the high cost of labor and real estate, but Tempo Automation has raised $20 million to do just that.

The bottom line: Tempo isn't building production runs like one would get from Shenzhen. Instead, it is focused on getting quick prototypes to Bay Area tech firms looking to rapidly iterate on a design.

The latest: The new $20 million in funding is designed to help fund a 42,000-square-foot factory — Tempo's second — in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood. It's already running at capacity at its current 8,000-square-foot facility. The money should allow the company to nearly double its current staff of around 60.

The round was led by P72 Ventures with participation from existing investors Lux Capital, Uncork Capital and AME, and new investors Dolby Ventures, Industry Ventures and Cendana.

What it's up to: CEO Jeff McAlvay says he can't give client names, but says his factory has cranked out parts for phones, robots and even rockets and autonomous cars.

“One of the things I enjoy is the range of products that we get to play a small part in bringing to market," McAlvay told Axios.