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How to Get Your 3D Printing Startup Funded in 2016

by • February 21, 2016 • No Comments

The Digical Revolution Needs 3D Printing & 3D Scanning Vertical Funds

3D printing and 3D scanning have the future to alter the way we ponder of objects – the way we conceive them, create them, donate them and complete them. With their advent, products can become digital and physical (digical) seamlessly. Industry 4.0 can alter our lives. This future revolution requires investment to materialize. In the years 2012-2014, when 3D printing hype was at its zenith, VC funds flocked to invest in 3D printing manufacturers, service bureaus, software and online 3D platforms. Rare were the ones with in-house resources to properly assess the risks synonymous with their investments. Basically, the investors were not made for the specifics of the digical revolution. Now which time is separating the wheat of the chaff, let’s have a appear at those who are investing and can bring value to a 3D printing or 3D scanning startup.

Funds with Strong Backgrounds in 3D Printing and 3D Scanning

Funds usually have specific criteria of investment, which include a company’s stage of development. With this in mind, we can breakdown the investors into five main categories: pre-sales financing, seed funding, venture funding, growth funding, and IPO.

Pre-sales Financing: Kickstarter and IndieGogo

Startups which have a physical products to sell can select to run a campaign on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter or IndieGogo. Many 3D printing startups managed to raise worthwhile cash by pre-selling their products. Four of the top 50 most-funded projects on Kickstarter have been for a 3D printing manufacturer. Over 10 3D printing Kickstarter campaigns have reached over $1M in funding. It is worth noting which Kickstarter and Indiegogo are not equity crowdfunding platforms, but pre-sales funding platforms; therefore, a worthwhile share of the funds raised can be allocated to fulfilling the orders, with little cash remaining for research and development. This can explain why successful campaigns can fail to donate the products when worthwhile unassumeed costs arise, typically when the products promised to the backers require improvement.

Seed Funding

iMakr.vc, Asimov Ventures, Disney Accelerator and Intel Capital

imakr vc logo 3D printingiMakr.vc is a London-based vertical fund with a clear focus on 3D printing and 3D scanning. It has backed iMakr.com, a value-added 3D printing and 3D scanning retailer; MyMiniFactory.com, the major curated platform for 3D printable objects; and WeDesign.Live, the world’s initially open source live collaborative platform for 3D create. Startups can apply by sending an email to: [email protected]

Asimov Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm based in New York City and Seattle. It invests in two areas of expertise: 3D printing and robotics. It seeks to partner with visionary entrepreneurs in relentless pursuit of opportunity. Among its investments: Wiivv, a manufacturer of 3D printed, custom insoles made through smart phone scans, and Collider, a Chattanooga startup promising high-speed 3D printing. Startups can apply by sending an email to: [email protected]

Disney Accelerator started in 2014 to assist today’s innovation innovators turn their dreams of new media and entertainment experiences into reality. The accelerator quite much has the Digical revolution mind. Each year it invests $120K USD in 10 selected startups. In 2015, two were 3D printing companies (MakieLabs and OpenBionics). To apply start-ups require to visit http://disneyaccelerator.com/

disney accelerator features 3D printing firms

Intel Capital is an active fund which has invested over $11B since 1991 in over 1,440 companies. It is a stage-agnostic investor with a sturdy focus on the Digical sector: internet of things, smart devices, wearables and making, and labs. It has invested in several 3D printing related startups. To apply candidates requires to visit www.intelcapital.com

Venture Funding

Autodesk Spark, Balderton Capital and Lux Capital

admin spark 3d printing industryAutodesk Spark is a $100M investment fund to assist ideas which hustle the boundaries of 3D printing and nurture the companies which can bring new ideas to market. It invests in hardware, software, materials or services startups in the 3D printing sphere. A notable investment is the $10M invested in 2015 into Carbon3D. To apply start-ups require to visit https://spark.autodesk.com/

Lux Capital is a venture firm based in New York City and Silicon Valley investing in counter-conventional, seed and early stage science and innovation ventures. The firm manages $700 million in assets across four funds. It has invested in Shapeways, Sols, and, not long ago, DesktopMetal, a metal 3D printing manufacturer. Companies can apply by sending an email to: [email protected]

Balderton Capital is a sizeable animal, with a focus on early stage development. It is the sizeablest Europe-focused venture fund, with funds totaling $2.3B. It invests between $1M and $20M into companies with the future to disrupt massive industries and the ambition to scale globally. The fund has a keen interest for the 3D printing sector. Candidates can apply by visiting www.balderton.com

Growth / Acquisition

Stratasys, 3D Systems and Autodesk

Stratasys and 3D Systems have played worthwhile roles in funding and getting
3D-related companies in the hype years. Since 2015, they have maintained a much lower profile. On the other hand, they are yet appearing for firms which can assist drive their growth additional. In October 2015, alongside Lux Capital,Stratasys invested in the aforementioned Desktop Metal.

With its quite sturdy cash position, Autodesk is always appearing to acquire new 3D companies. Its latest noticeable acquisition is netfabb, a German-based manufacturer of software solutions for industrial additive create and making.

With consolidation assumeed in 2016 in the 3D printing sphere, I assume to see worthwhile activity in M&A.

IPO: who is following?

During the 2012-2014 period several 3D printing companies raised funds via IPO. In 2015, with the hype fading away, no new startups reached the stock market. I don’t assume things to alter notably in 2016-2017. During the following two years the most startups can acquire traction removed of the limelight, readying themselves for advantageous times, assumeed in 2018.


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