Making the leap into more 3D printing investments [Image via DSM Venturing]
Two 3D printing companies have announced significant funding this week — and both bill DSM Venturing as a leader in their rounds.
Sheffield, UK-based Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) and Boston, Massachusetts-based Voxel8 are welcoming DSM Venturing among their investors in these next growth stages.
It’s eye-catching when two totally distinct 3D printing companies issue press releases on the same day with the same investor.
AMT is wholly focused on post-processing operations for additive manufacturing, while Voxel8 “is developing digital manufacturing systems that revolutionize how footwear and athletic apparel are designed, manufactured, and sold to consumers across the globe.” And DSM, of course, is one of the largest materials suppliers in the world — with a varied portfolio beyond materials (billed officially as a “global purpose-led, science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living”), but with that sector being the company’s primary focus in 3D printing.
DSM Venturing, though, is another story. The investment arm of DSM was established in 2001, nearly a century after the company was founded (1902).
Portfolio interests include:
Investing into AMT and Voxel8 now doubles the 3D printing portfolio to include four companies, as these two take their places alongside premium additive manufacturing polymer resin supplier Adaptive3D and next-generation 3D printing materials company Chromatic 3D Materials.
A peek at DSM Venturing’s operations indicates that the two multi-investor fundings are quite significant.
DSM Venturing details its “basic investment principles” as:
Our typical financial investment over the lifetime of a venture varies from €1 to 20 million with a typical first investment of between €100k and €5m.
We take minority stakes, usually between 5-25%.
We can lead or follow rounds (we typically prefer to syndicate larger deals, and will do seed funding through post-IPO if there is a good strategic fit).
We are active partners and usually ask to serve on boards.
We’re on the ground and especially active in the North American and Europe markets.
Neither release indicates whether board participation or any other deeper operational relationship has been established with DSM’s investment.
AMT’s funding round is its Series A, raising $5.2 million for the company.
Led by DSM Venturing and Foresight Williams Technology EIS Fund, the collaboration between Foresight Group LLP (Foresight) and the venture arm of Williams Advanced Engineering, the round adds to previously raised grant funding and seed investments. Grant funding came from Innovate UK, while seed investment is from Midwest Additive Ventures and NPIF-Mercia Equity Finance through Mercia Asset Management PLC.
Goals for the Series A, per AMT, are to “accelerate sales and deliver a commercial version of its fully integrated Digital Manufacturing System.”
The release also notes that AMT plans to leverage “DSM’s deep materials expertise” as DSM and Williams both “bring significant strategic value” to operations. So there is certainly some relationship there.
“AMT is revolutionizing the world of post processing of 3D printed parts, thus enabling additive manufacturing to become a competitive alternative for industrial scale production. We are excited about including AMT in our additive manufacturing investment portfolio and supporting the company in accelerating its growth,” said Pieter Wolters, Managing Director of DSM Venturing.
A day after the Series A announcement, DSM and AMT have announced a new partnership as well, driving in the depth of their mutual commitment.
Royal DSM will be working with AMT in a materials- and post-processing-driven relationship, leveraging the expertise of each entity and working together toward more “comprehensive 3D printing solutions.”
The announcement notes particularly:
“Customers will see a first benefit from the collaboration as DSM’s Arnitel and Novamid filaments, as well as Arnite T PBT powders, will be optimized with AMT’s automated post-processing machine, PostPro3D, saving end users time, money and energy.”
“The two companies will share the advantages of DSM’s materials and AMT’s technology across their combined global network, providing customers in key industries like automotive, healthcare, electronics and wearables, with all-encompassing guidance and support.
More joint developments are currently being worked on, including the ability to add color to printed PBT parts.”
Voxel8 has raised Series B funding.
Along with leader DSM Venturing, the Series B welcomes HP Tech Ventures and sees Braemar Energy Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners return in additional investment.
Voxel8, founded in 2014, raised its Series A round in 2015. Over its five years of operations, Voxel8 has a good bit of expertise to claim, including “more than a decade of research and 30+ patents on printing structural and functional materials.”
An interesting offering is its ActiveLab Digital Fabrication System, geared toward multi-material digital manufacturing for athletic footwear uppers and other textile products. It is largely here that the new funding round is set to come into play, as Voxel8 CEO and Co-Founder Travis Busbee notes that the investors’ “global reach, expertise, and funding will accelerate the rapid adoption of Voxel8’s technology for high-volume production of athletic footwear and apparel.”
“Voxel8 is an excellent addition to our portfolio. Its multi-materials digital manufacturing platform is poised to dramatically impact the footwear and the sports apparel markets, strategic to DSM. We are excited to help Voxel8 become a leading innovation platform in these markets,” said DSM Venturing’s Wolters.
That DSM Venturing is diving more deeply into 3D printing and including it among its core portfolio elements is indicative of the growing nature of the additive manufacturing industry, especially the seriousness with which est
ablished industrial players are taking this young technology.