Construction 3D printing company Branch Technology has raised $11 million.
This latest funding round takes their funding over $22M now, including a 2018 Series A round. The new investment comes in a round led by EquipmentShare, “with oversubscribed support from Brick & Mortar Ventures, Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, and other previous investors.”
Investment in 2020 is not the easiest thing to accomplish as the global pandemic has curbed many budgets substantially. So any company pulling in millions is worth a look — and it just so happens a good many of those companies are in the 3D printing industry.
Branch, based in Tennessee, is among the current players in the construction 3D printing scene. The company celebrated its sixth anniversary this spring.
It also has something of its own take on construction 3D printing. Rather than a gantry-based concrete extruding system on a building scale, Branch works with a much more “freeform” model using robotic arms. They call this approach Cellular Fabrication (C-Fab), and use composite 3D printing materials rather than concrete. Think a 3D printed pen doodling carbon fiber-reinforced polymers in midair and you’re just about there.
The technology is both impressive and beautiful. Construction-scale 3D printing in these reinforced materials can create artful structures as well as more grounded 3D printed building cladding. Branch is also exploring optimized composite products — and, another area growing in popularity, off-world construction.
“The firm’s prefabricated facade panels bring unprecedented design freedom, material efficiency, and signature identity to a client’s property, setting it apart from the traditional and monotonous architectural landscape. Branch works with developers, architects, builders, and sectors of the US government to bring the productivity and design freedom of advanced manufacturing and direct digital fabrication to the built environment. During the past four years, Branch has collaborated with organizations like NASA, the US Air Force, SHoP Architects, Cambridge Development, Foster+Partners, SOM, and Turner Construction to create many ‘world’s first,’ category-defining projects.”
I haven’t heard much from Branch in a little while, so it’s heartening to hear that not only are they continuing their work with impressive collaborative partners, but they’ll be growing through this new investment.
Previous investments have poised Branch to “create a world-class team, the largest fleet of construction scale 3D printers, and multiple product lines, all within their 40,000sf digital manufacturing facility.” An $11 million influx will now allow the company to focus on growth of both its team and its robots.
While investment has been a tricky terrain this year, so has employment been — so it’s also heartening to see the focus on team growth coming up. Branch will be looking to “continue the growth of its team with additional industry experts focused on building science, software development, and engineering, as well as expand the capabilities and scale of its robotic production fleet.”
It sounds like we’ll also be hearing much more from the company in the new year, as well:
“This funding supports several enterprise relationships that will officially launch in 2021 and accelerates new joint capabilities that will serve the broader construction market,” said Mitch Lewandowski, the Chief Commercial Officer for Branch Technology.