Markforged is opening its first international HQ in Dublin, Ireland.
The move brings the Boston-based company permanently into Europe. All is, then, going according to plan for the company, which noted the intent to do exactly this in the $82M funding round announced just two weeks ago.
This initial international expansion marks the company’s first foray off its native soil. Not so for Markforged 3D printers, of course, which have been shipping internationally through partner networks in 50 countries — and now that demand will be taken care of closer to customers in Europe and the EMEA region.
Markforged is planning to build up a 100-strong team in Dublin operations over the next three years, and the Irish Government is cheery at the prospect. Most of the jobs will be in sales, business development, and marketing, as it looks like the bulk of technical/engineering remains based in Boston.
“I am delighted that Markforged has chosen Dublin as its new European HQ. We all know the strong potential of 3D printing and I warmly welcome their presence in Ireland and the creation of 100 highly skilled jobs. We already have a strong footprint of High-Tech companies in Dublin and we are very keen to expand that by attracting a wider range of specialist companies such as Markforged,” said Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Interesting points in the brief announcement are the reasons for choosing Dublin as the first international office — and the use of “first” when referring to the new HQ.
Options for the European HQ came down to Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK, it seems, as Markforged began looking a year ago. Reasons cited for choosing Dublin include:
Proximity to Boston
Technical talent available in the region
Location in relation to EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region demand
As Europe currently accounts for one-third of Markforged’s global sales, per Darcey Harrison, Global VP Sales, Services, and Partnerships at Markforged, location was indeed a critical consideration. Personally I find it interesting that the proximity to Boston was so high on the list; I suppose the flight is a bit shorter, and it’s nice that it’s one time zone nearer than the Netherlands.
Final plans for the Dublin site remain in the works, as the Irish Times reports:
“Markforged is currently on the hunt for permanent offices, but will be based at WeWork in Iveagh Court as it grows its operations. Four of the company’s US based staff will relocate to Dublin to assist in setting up the office for the first two years, with Stephen Barbuto, EMEA director of commercial sales, leading the office.”
Moving back to that other key word: first.
Not only is this the first international office for the company, but it’s the first part of this year’s expansion plans.
Last year was a very busy time for Markforged, as the company shipped more than 2,500 industrial 3D printers just in 2018. Now that we’re well into 2019, that pace shows absolutely no signs of slowing.
Global expansion is in the cards for Markforged. From the sounds of the Series D announcement, the Asia/Pacific will be the next regional target for a new location.
This speed and ambition is well in keeping with the general Markforged ethos and what I’ve observed on-site in Watertown at the company HQ. I’m guessing we won’t have much longer to wait to hear more about the expansion of Markforged and the reach of its strong solutions for 3D printing.