Formlabs announced that it has raised a $35 million Series B round of funding that will be used to grow its 3D printing platform. The company’s latest investment comes from new investor Foundry Group and includes participation from previous funders DFJ Growth; Pitango Venture Capital; and Apple’s former head in Europe, Pascal Cagni.
As 3D printing has become quite popular, both for consumers and within the enterprise, Formlabs is looking to increase its share of the market. The company said that this infusion of capital will be used to accelerate operations to meet worldwide demand, as well as to increase research efforts and overall industry reach.
Formlabs, which made its public debut five years ago through a successful Kickstarter campaign, is the creator of the Form printer. The company’s inaugural campaign raised $2.9 million to bring the first generation of printers to market, and the company followed that with the Form 2, which was introduced in September.
Since then, Formlabs has expanded its operations to Japan and claims sales have doubled annually over the past three years. It has also acquired the online 3D design marketplace Pinshape.
“Formlabs’ efforts over the years in introducing new materials and capabilities have defined the category of professional desktop 3D printing, resulting in significant growth for the company along the way,” said company cofounder and CEO Max Lobovsky. “With the new investment, we’re excited to develop more powerful tools to enable anyone working with 3D content to create remarkable things. Formlabs will continue to grow the stereolithography business and bring new tools to the world to advance our goal of making digital fabrication more powerful and accessible.”
The company’s strategy to increase growth involves establishing partnerships, and today it is announcing what is perhaps its most significant partner to date: Autodesk. With this relationship, both companies will “strategically collaborate” on software integration and marketing efforts. For Formlabs, having access to a firm that specializes in design and engineering tools, specifically in 3D, is a coup.
“…We’re eager to work together to improve digital design and manufacturing for product designers everywhere,” said Autodesk CEO Carl Bass.
With more than $55 million in its coffers and Autodesk on its side, Formlabs appears ready to defend itself against an ever-crowded marketplace. Competitors include MakerBot, Carbon3D, 3D systems, and Glowforge. Interestingly, Foundry Group just participated in Glowforge’s $22 million Series B this week, and the firm’s cofounder, Brad Feld, previously invested in MakerBot.
Formlabs’ last raise was in 2013, when the company brought in $19 million to fuel the rollout of its Form 1 printer.