Arevo has been making strides recently and perhaps none bigger than today’s announcement of new funding and a brand new more-capable 3D printer.
Aqua 2 3D Printer
Let’s take a look at the new 3D printer. The company’s original device, the Aqua, was one of the very few 3D printers in the world capable of 3D printing with continuous carbon fiber. While there are many devices able to 3D print filament infused with fine chopped carbon fiber, there is no substitute for actual, continuous carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is one of the strongest known materials and its presence in a 3D printed part can enable many new applications.
That’s the core of Arevo’s offering: custom 3D printed parts using this technology.
Their flagship product has been the Superstrata Bike, a custom-fit 3D printed frame unit that has proven extremely popular. In fact, the Indiegogo campaign launching the bike has now hit an astonishing US$3.8M from backers as of this writing, and it’s still rising with only days to go.
Arevo intended on servicing this demand through their Aqua 3D printer, but now there’s an Aqua 2 3D printer.
The new device is billed as the “world’s first high speed additive manufacturing system for large continuous carbon fiber composite structures.” This could in fact be true (we’re always suspicious of “world’s first” claims here).
However, in the image provided above, Arevo’s new Aqua 2 seems to have a great deal of design elements that no doubt are there to provide high-speed 3D printing and carbon fiber delivery. Arevo says the Aqua 2 can print 4X the speed of its predecessor.
I can’t tell you how important this is for them: they are building their business around the concept of customized production, or in other words, mass customization. That’s not possible unless you can scale to the necessary degree. The Aqua 2’s increased speed will greatly assist that strategy.
There’s another challenge to scaling a technology: cash. Fortunately, Arevo also announced they’ve solved that issue, too.
The company says they’ve received a new Series B investment of an unstated amount. They did say their total raise so far is about US$60M.
However, with a bit of poking around we can make some guesses as to how much the new round has been. According to Crunchbase they’ve received funding in four rounds, receiving cash from Kholsa Ventures, In-Q-Tel and AGC totaling US$19.5M.
We don’t know how much was invested in rounds 2 and 3, but it is clear the investment is less than US$40M. If rounds 2 and 3 were in the US$10M range, then it suggests today’s announcement is likely near US$20M.
With the announcement of both cash and a much faster 3D printer, combined with the apparent success of their first consumer product, it seems that Arevo is very well-positioned for further scaling.
I’m now wondering what their next customized consumer product might be.