Once again we take a look at the valuations of the major 3D printing companies over the past week.
Publicly traded companies are required to post their financial reports, as well as appear on stock markets. From there we can calculate the total value of their company by multiplying the current stock price by the number of outstanding shares. This number is the market capitalization, and represents the current valuation of the company.
It’s a great number of compare companies, as the market capitalization can be leveraged to provide more capabilities for the company. Shares could, for example, be used as collateral for a loan. That and similar maneuvers could generate cash with which the company might undertake new projects.
In other words, “market cap”, as it is known, is quite important.
You might think it’s not important to monitor these companies each week, as their value is realized only when stocks are sold. However, events happen to companies occasionally that cause their value to rise and fall, and this weekly post is where we track such things.
Note that our list here does not include all major 3D print companies. Not all 3D print companies are publicly traded, and thus we cannot officially know their true size, such as EOS. Others, like HP or Siemens, have very large 3D printing divisions, but are part a much larger enterprises and we cannot know the true size of their 3D printing activities.
Let’s take a look at the 3D printing companies on this week’s list.
3D Printing Leaderboard
This week saw a pretty flat market overall, yet there were several companies on the leaderboard that suffered notable valuation declines. While the leaderboard in total slipped only a measly 1.5% over the week, several companies somehow managed to drop double-digit percentages in valuation.
FATHOM, Freemelt, MeaTech 3D, Massivit and Shapeways all saw drops exceeding ten percent, with Shapeways topping the group at an astounding 24% drop in value.
Shapeways, one of the pioneers in 3D print services, burst onto the tradable market with a valuation of more than US$400M, with a peak of more than US$560M a few weeks after their market entry. Today the company’s value is a mere US$52M, leaving some of their initial public investors with losses in the 90% range.
Why is Shapeways having such a difficult time? I believe there are two factors at play here.
First, while they were pretty much the only consumer-oriented 3D print service when they launched, there are now plenty of other options to consider. The distribution of hundreds of thousands of low-cost 3D printers has taken away much of the consumer market they used to ride.
As a result, Shapeways and their competitors have had to swerve into the industrial print service market, which is quite different. There, Shapeways faces competition from multiple well-funded entrants, some of which use the network approach to very quickly grow capacity and regional coverage. Shapeways likely has to shift their approach in some way to better position against their growing competition.
voxeljet’s valuation dropped by nearly 15% this week, and they are another company whose value has been experiencing a long, drawn out decline. From a peak back in February 2021, the company’s value has declined by a factor of eight.
What’s causing this decline? It may be that while they offer a unique and large scale capability to 3D print large objects for molding and production, it may be that their prices are high enough to shrink their market.
3D printed food startup MeaTech 3D’s drop of almost 18% is also notable, and is quite curious as the company just announced a new patent for handling cultured meat to develop more complex mouth feel. That’s precisely the kind of development a company of this type requires, yet investors punished them this week. It may be that as it happens so frequently in this space, the stock price seems to be affected weeks after news emerges.
SLM Solutions valuation dropped by nearly ten percent this week, and it might have something to do with the issuance of additional convertible bonds (basically a loan that can later be converted into shares of the company) on May 24th. That could affect the future value of shares, hence it might affect today’s valuation.
Among all these valuation drops, a few companies did rise. Most notably, Xometry, currently ranked the largest on the leaderboard, rose over eight percent. Their increase of almost US$100M counteracted most of the declines from smaller companies, leaving the week mostly flat.
One company I’ve started to watch is ICON, the Texas-based construction 3D printer manufacturer. This privately-held company has been raising a significant amount of investment to the tune of almost half a billion dollars. At that level it is likely they will be discussing a transition to public markets at some point, which would certainly place them at or near the top of our leaderboard.
Others In The Industry
While we’ve been following the public companies, don’t forget there are a number of private companies that don’t appear on any stock exchange. These privately-held companies likely have significant value, it’s just that we can’t know exactly what it is at any moment. The suspected bigger companies include EOS, Carbon and Formlabs.
Perhaps someday some of them will appear on our major players list.
Finally, there are a number of companies that are deeply engaged in the 3D print industry, but that activity is only a small slice of their operations. Thus it’s not fair to place them on the lists above because we don’t really know where their true 3D print activities lie.