Ever since Silicon Valley-based Carbon first emerged on the 3D printing scene, coming out of stealth with its revolutionary CLIP technology in 2015, it has continued to be a major innovator in the industry. The company released its latest software offering late last month, soon after it introduced a new biocompatible silicone urethane material. Carbon has been increasing its efforts to expand and scale up 3D printing toward production, and introduced its AM SpeedCell, a system of connected products that form a complete, end-to-end additive manufacturing solution, this spring.
As growth continues, and following significant funding rounds in 2015 and in 2016, today the company is announcing the first closing in a total raise of $200 million in funding, from an interesting mix of current investors, global financial institutions, and strategic partners that directly align with the smart company‘s strategic direction and values.
“The age of digital 3D Manufacturing is here, and this funding – with this incredible group of global financial investors, customers, and partners – validates our vision to fundamentally change how the world designs, engineers, makes and delivers products. We are especially gratified that our mission and values came through as such strong criterion for this group. Since Carbon first introduced digital light synthesis, we have continuously pushed the boundaries and transformed industries, and are uniquely positioned to take digital manufacturing to an entirely new level,” said Carbon Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Joseph DeSimone. “This funding will help us realize new classes of workers and business models, where product design and engineering is facilitated by cloud-based computing and a wide range of scanning, sensor, and simulation technologies that enable the creation of perfectly tuned – even personalized – products that have been previously impossible to produce.”
In order to ensure the best experience, Carbon offers a unique, subscription-based model that aligns with its customers’ own businesses, complete with one-on-one customer service, software updates every six weeks, and continuous training and education programs. This allows it to have close customer partnerships, which often lead to new business models across multiple industries – a prominent example is the partially 3D printed adidas Futurecraft 4D athletic shoe, created using Carbon’s technology.In order to accelerate this global digital 3D manufacturing mindset with its scalable, digital 3D manufacturing platform for polymeric products, Carbon will use the capital it raised in its recent round of Series D funding to speed up the momentum in using its digitally-enabled, connected fabrication and design capabilities to disrupt conventional injection molding techniques. The company will specifically use the funds from its mix of investors to accelerate its product roadmap and plans for global expansion.
“We have been impressed by the technology and team at Carbon, and have been helping them build bridges into Japan. We believe Carbon’s digital light synthesis technology will play a crucial role in transforming manufacturing in multiple industrial sectors, especially in Japan and the Asia Pacific region more generally. We are looking forward to continuing this momentum together,” said Nobu Koshiba, President of JSR Corporation, one of Carbon’s strategic industry partners.
In addition to JSR Corporation, the other strategic industry partners that supported Carbon’s funding round include GE and Hydra Ventures (the corporate venturing arm of adidas). Other investors include global financial institutions ARCHINA Capital in Hong Kong, Fidelity Management & Research Company in the US, and European investment management firm Baillie Gifford.
“We are delighted to be investing in Carbon on behalf of our clients. Through a combination of faster production times, lower costs, and a wider range of materials, Carbon is delivering on the long standing but elusive promise of 3D manufacturing at scale,” said Peter Singlehurst, Investment Manager at Baillie Gifford. “Coupled with an innovative business model and a first-class team, we believe that Carbon has the makings of a large, valuable, and important business.”
Emerson Elemental (the environmental practice of Emerson Collective), a values-driven nonprofit based in Palo Alto, is also among the latest investors into Carbon. Emerson Collective Managing Partner Andy Karsner noted of the company’s decision to invest:
“We were inspired by Carbon’s commitment to innovating environmentally sustainable supply chains, dematerializing and minimizing waste streams, while scaling engines of additive manufacturing that can support economic growth in communities everywhere. We see the potential to enable a new class of workers and tools for 21st century opportunities that strengthen our communities and the environment. This investment gives us an opportunity to support Carbon’s growth and continued industry leadership, while measurably transitioning to more natural materials, more precisely and efficiently applied, for a more thriving world.”
Current investors Reinet Investments, Sequoia Capital, and Silver Lake Kraftwerk also supported the Series D funding, and the company noted that additional investors should be disclosed in early 2018.
“At Silver Lake Kraftwerk, we are thrilled to support Carbon as they continue to bring their vision of on-demand manufacturing to fruition. We believe their breakthrough polymers and processes will fundamentally change the way products are designed, built, and brought to market,” said Adam Grosser, Group Head and Managing Director of Silver Lake Kraftwerk. “The strategic participation in this round demonstrates the value we believe Carbon brings to this ecosystem.”
Through the help of this funding round, Carbon will be increasing its already deep commitment to help its customers make their way to real-world, at scale, mass digital production.
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