Carbon Taps $260 Million in Additional Funding for Advanced Development Facility & International Expansion

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Silicon Valley-based Carbon is forging ahead with new financial resources—to the tune of $260 million— after a round of growth funding which will allow them to expand operations considerably, along with strengthening their role as a player in the Asian and European 3D printing markets. Funding was co-led by Madrone Capital Partners and Baillie Gifford, with new investors Temasek and Arkema also joining the following existing investors:

  • Sequoia Capital
  • Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Fidelity Management & Research Company
  • Adidas Ventures
  • JSR Corporation

That brings cumulative recent funding for Carbon to $680 million, offering plentiful financial resources for the diverse company to increase research and development. This activity will occur at their new Advanced Development Facility (ADF), and they will also continue further marketing internationally. The new site will strengthen Carbon’s platform and workflow, benefiting their customers and partners around the globe engaged in applications like health, automotive, and consumer goods. Overall, the goal of their engineering teams is to innovate and accelerate product development.

Carbon, in automotive applications: Ford HVAC Lever Arm

Ford Parking Brake Bracket

Ford Raptor Plug

“With the Carbon Platform, powered by our Digital Light Synthesis™ technology, companies are finally breaking free of the constraints of traditional polymer manufacturing methods to make what’s next now, and at speeds and volumes never before possible,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Carbon’s CEO and co-founder.

The Carbon team will also invest further R&D efforts in recyclable and biocompatible materials, along with software expansion for the Digital Manufacturing Cloud, including emphasis on:

  • Algorithmic lattice generation
  • Better digital factory workflow
  • Fleet monitoring
  • Quality control
  • Compliance information management

There are also plans to improve the software currently enabling comprehensive production for the Carbon platform.

“What impresses me about Carbon is their diversification across markets and industries,” said Greg Penner, Founder and General Partner at Madrone Capital Partners and Chairman of Walmart. “Through their partnerships with large-scale manufacturers in automotive, healthcare, and consumer goods, they are proving that, with their Digital Light Synthesis™ technology, additive manufacturing in larger scale production is becoming a reality across industry sectors. This is an inflection point for the company, and we’re proud to be able to contribute to Carbon’s future success.”

The company currently employs over 400 team members, which they proudly refer to as ‘world-class talent,’ managed by a group of new C-level executives and an experienced board of directors—all aiming toward further expansion in sales and marketing.

“At Baillie Gifford, we seek to invest in companies capable of delivering transformational growth over the long term,” said Peter Singlehurst, Investment Manager at Baillie Gifford. “Through a combination of technical and business model innovation, Carbon is delivering on the promise of additive manufacturing, and in the process growing rapidly into an enormous opportunity. The thoughtful way in which the team at Carbon is building the company and the strong emphasis on the values and culture of the organization make us incredibly proud to support the company in their growth round.”

Carbon also reports the following progress:

  • Operations in a total of 14 countries
  • A 33x increase in print volumes over the past year
  • Over 5x increase in print hours
  • Seventeen new third-party resins
  • Three new first-party resins in the past year

“Carbon’s business model is as innovative as its technology. Its “hybrid SaaS” business model is an industry first for manufacturing, enabling a high level of predictability and recurring revenue,” said Ellen Kullman, Lead Director of Carbon and former Chairman and CEO of DuPont. “Having designed smart hardware from the ground up that is updatable via regular, over-the-air software upgrades, the team is ushering in a new era of high-tech manufacturing, one destined to unlock the full promise of Industry 4.0.”

We have also followed as Carbon introduced polymer parts for Ford vehicles, announced a partnership with Riddell for a digitally printed football helmet liner, unveiled the new L1 printer, and also recently released a digital manufacturing platform for dental and orthodontic labs.

“Carbon has cracked the code on 3D printing at scale, as evidenced by its impressive growth in implementation and products brought to market with companies such as adidas, Ford, Lamborghini, and Riddell,” said Jim Goetz, Partner at Sequoia Capital. “They are truly delivering on their vision to provide the world’s first fully integrated digital manufacturing platform for high-volume production, and they are well on their way to transforming the 3D printing world.”

Will Carbon live up to the expectations that they are creating? The firm has little in installed base and sold systems when compared to existing players. The number of things actually being manufactured with their technology is also limited compared to existing vendors. Their technology also is interesting in many respects but what niches will it be able to exploit? How will Carbon’s parts hold up to the real world?

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

Riddell diamond helmet

[Source / Images: Carbon]
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