COBOD announced they achieved profitability in 2020.
The Danish company is one of the leading providers of construction 3D printers, having delivered multiple 3D printed buildings in 2020. Note that “3D printed buildings” here means printing of the concrete portions of the structure; the remaining building elements are constructed using traditional methods.
COBOD’s flagship product is the BOD2 construction 3D printer, which is essentially a massively scaled-up version of a RepRap 3D printer that employs a proprietary concrete extruder as the toolhead. It’s usually erected onsite where the building is then 3D printed: concrete buildings are hard to move after production!
COBOD has used the BOD2 to produce multi-story buildings in several countries and even has developed an unusual arrangement where they can 3D print massive wind turbine bases onsite.
There are multiple companies worldwide attempting to build large construction companies based around new 3D printing technologies. However, few are successful as there are plenty of barriers in the field, as well as a history of bad actors. Recently the clouds have begun to clear and some leaders are beginning to emerge. One of them is COBOD.
But companies cannot survive unless they are making money, and that’s why I take particular interest in the financials of 3D print startups. Unfortunately, virtually all new 3D print companies are privately held, meaning there’s no way you can see their financial statements. Publicly traded companies are required to publish their financial details.
But in this case, COBOD has surprisingly released a portion of their financials, even as they are privately held. The results are quite interesting.
In 2019, COBOD officially posted a profit of DKK151K (US$24K), but this was after an apparent tax refund of DKK232K (US$37K). However, in 2020 things got more interesting.
Last year COBOD doubled their gross profit, suggesting they have more-or-less doubled their client base and revenue to DKK9.32M (US$1.5M). Note that the company has not released their revenue numbers, which will obviously be quite a bit larger.
For net profit, COBOD reports a value of DKK722,126 (US$115K), and this is without any help from tax refunds. In fact, COBOD paid DKK47K (US$8K) in taxes during 2020.
The General Manager of COBOD, Henrik Lund-Nielsen, said:
“Just over 3 months int the new year, we have actually received 200% of the order quantity for printer received throughout all of 2020, so we are sure that we will continue our significant growth well into 2021, when we will at least double again. The good results is not least due to our large global customers and in 2021 they will continue to play a key role in our growth, together with smaller more entrepreneurial companies wanting to be part of the future. Due to the high growth, we have had to increase our manning to more than 40 employees and at the end of this year we expect to be around 60.”
To be clear, this is a small profit. But it IS a profit, and demonstrates the viability of the operation. That’s rare for a startup, and should immediately attract new investors.
With new investment, COBOD would be able to dramatically increase their operations and thus increase the profit they’ve already proven they can achieve, given the tremendous size of the construction industry worldwide. However, according to official reporting documents, the company is currently held by only two Danish companies.
Things are looking up at COBOD.