Sketchfab, a web service that lets users upload, download, and share 3D content, announced a $7 million series A round led by FirstMark Capital, and the collaboration of past investors Balderton, Partech, Borealis, and TechStars’s new venture fund. FirstMark’s managing director, Matt Turck, will be joining Sketchfab’s board.
“Each time there’s been a new format on the Web (whether video, sound, slides), there’s been a platform and community for it (YouTube, SoundCloud, SlideShare),” said Turck. “Sketchfab is well on its way to being the place to be for 3D, AR, and VR content on the Web. We’re excited for the ride.”
The funds will be used to grow Sketchfab’s team and enrich the website’s content. Back in 2013, the TechStars graduate raised $2 million and the company “went from being a rather niche tool mainly known in the 3D world only, to a media platform with native integrations with Facebook, Microsoft, [and] Adobe,” Alban Denoyel, Sketchfab’s CEO and cofounder, told VentureBeat.
As the demand for 3D products grows, Sketchfab expects to fill the gap between production and showcase, just like YouTube did for video makers.
“[The g]oal is that tomorrow when a brand like Tesla releases a new car (or Nike a new pair of shoes), publishing a virtual version of it on Sketchfab will be part of their launching plan,” Denoyel said.
“This means they’ll be able to embed it in 3D on their websites, you’ll be able to try it in AR/VR, 3D print it for your kids, download it to put it in a video game, an ad, or a more advanced VR story.”
Now, since Box acquired 3D startup Verold, Sketchfab says there are not direct competitors that are not exclusive to designers, architects, or engineers.
Sketchfab told VentureBeat it is working to support animation in its platform.