Carbon announced today something that hints at their future – and yours.
Let’s wind back the clock a bit first. Last December the company announced a whopping USD$200M Series D raise, which brought their total investment to a Jupiter-sized USD$422M, more than practically any other 3D printer company has raised.
Our story at the time suggested that this level of investment essentially places Carbon in the same league as industry leaders 3D Systems and Stratasys, as Carbon’s probable total company valuation is very likely in a similar range to those leaders. People used to talk about the two big companies, but now there might be three.
Also mentioned in that previous announcement was a list of investors who came up with the USD$200M. Largely this list was companies who had already invested in Carbon and for their own reasons have gone a bit deeper.
But there’s a bit more information as of this morning.
Carbon announced that one of the investors in the last investment round was none other than Johnson & Johnson, through their future technology arm, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC).
While the revelation of a new investor is normally not a big deal, I think this one could be.
The reasoning is this: many of the prior Carbon investors are companies that are actively making use of (or likely will make use of) Carbon’s technology. In other words, they are Carbon customers. They liked the company so much, they bought it. Or at least part of it.
So the thinking is now that Johnson & Johnson may become a Carbon client.
Who is Johnson & Johnson? Well, they just happen to be one of the largest conglomerates in today’s world. Directly or indirectly, they manufacture many of the products you make use of in daily life. They are massive. According to Wikipedia:
Johnson & Johnson is an American multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturing company founded in 1886. The corporation includes some 250 subsidiary companies with operations in 60 countries and products sold in over 175 countries. Johnson & Johnson had worldwide sales of $70.1 billion during calendar year 2015.
The company is well-known for popular brands such as Tylenol, Acuvue, Band-aid, Neutrogena and others. While many of their products are pharmaceuticals, they do offer plenty of other medical and consumer health products, any of which could potentially be enhanced by 3D printing techniques.
The company is well positioned in multiple areas that might easily leverage 3D printing. Imagine products customized for babies as they rapidly change size while growing, for example.
The thing is that Johnson & Johnson, or “JNJ” as they are sometimes known, is very large; Their 2016 revenue was a ridiculous USD$71B – Billion! They could easily afford to set up any imaginable 3D printing production line.
And with this substantial investment in Carbon, they likely will.