3D Printing Financials: Shapeways Posts Profit for FY2021, Weak Outlook for 2022


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Since going public in September 2021, Shapeways’ (NYSE: SHPW) strategy has been to scale across materials, markets, and technologies and broaden the rollout of additional phases of its software as a service. In its first full-year earnings report, the 3D printing service bureau announced revenues of $33.6 million, a 6% increase compared to 2020 and slightly above guidance provided in the previous quarter. Shapeways also recorded net profits of $1.8 million or 4 cents per share, reversing the net losses incurred in 2020, which were $3.2 million, or 9 cents per share.

During the last quarter of 2021, Shapeways raked in revenues of $8.3 million, 5% less than revenue for the same period in 2020. However, it continued the expansion of its additive manufacturing (AM) offering by launching new technologies and materials while shifting the growth focus to middle-market and enterprise opportunities, which have longer sales cycles.

A breakdown of its revenues shows that in 2021 direct sales (where Shapeways provides AM services directly to the customer who selects the model specifications) accounted for roughly 76% or $25.6 million, and that was an increase of 8% year-over-year.

Slightly offsetting this was revenue for marketplace sales (a platform for shop owners to sell their products to their customers utilizing the Shapeways e-commerce website). For 2021, marketplace sales accounted for about 24% of revenue or $7.8 million, and that was down 2% year-over-year.

Shapeways goes public

Shapeways goes public via a SPAC merger on the NYSE. Image courtesy of Shapeways.

Currently offering eleven 3D printing technologies and roughly 100 materials and finishes, Shapeways is set on scaling innovations. Over the years, the New York-headquartered brand has delivered over 23 million parts to approximately one million customers in over 175 countries.

In the fourth quarter of 2021 and into the first quarter of 2022, it began deploying a broad Desktop Metal (DM) machines portfolio to expand its global manufacturing footprint across metals, elastomers, polymers, composites, and digital casting applications. The printers are expected to play a significant role in Shapeways’ growth and expand its additive capabilities.

Aside from the three new DM machines currently in use, Shapeways anticipates implementing up to eight additional DM hardware by the end of the year, which could become a vital revenue source for the company as they come online in increased capacity.

3D printed SLA models.

Shapeways uses tough SLA plastic materials for 3D printing models, prototypes and patterns. Image courtesy of Shapeways.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, Shapeways publicly launched the first phase of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering under the brand name Otto to gain feedback on product-market fit, pricing, and optimal use cases. Furthermore, the company said Otto is “a purpose-built SaaS platform which provides traditional manufacturers with a simpler, faster and more flexible path to 3D printing for industrial-grade production.”

This software platform is considered a differentiating factor at the company, especially now that it has begun to offer that software to manufacturers to reap the same types of benefits as Shapeways, including efficiency and better economics with an off-the-shelf solution. One of the critical benefits of Otto is that it can help accelerate the digital transformation by drawing the attention of traditional manufacturers, minimal and medium-sized, who are not usually able to invest the capital and time necessary to digitize their processes.

Shapeways CEO Greg Kress.

Greg Kress, Shapeways CEO. Image courtesy of Shapeways.

Commenting on future expectations, Shapeways CEO Greg Kress described the company as well-positioned to capture and expand market share in 2022 as these investments continue to ramp and contribute to its long-term growth.

“We entered the new year with a solid business pipeline and believed that we are well positioned to continue providing world-class additive printing solutions through automation, innovation, and digitization. We remain committed to executing on our long-term strategic growth plan, which we believe will allow us to expand market share and accelerate growth in the coming quarters.”

During an earnings call with investors, Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Walsh warned of the continued macro uncertainty, including potential inflationary pressures, supply chain challenges, and geopolitical unease. For this reason, management chose not to provide full-year guidance for 2022 but said they are optimistic about the company’s progress and anticipate first quarter sales to be between $7.3 million and $7.4 million, along with an increase in business development resources and the ramp up of sales towards the back half of 2022, which will help pressure margins in the coming year.

As the company executes its strategic growth plan and follows its roadmap, it hopes to develop new initiatives and deliver high-quality solutions to its customers. Looking forward, the business claims to seek complementary strategic acquisitions that will add capacity and manufacturing capabilities, as well as increase its reach with an already installed base. In addition, expecting to see an inflection point in the overall adoption of digital manufacturing solutions, Shapeways is getting ready to capture more customers than ever and plans to do so through its planned investments, additive manufacturing capabilities, and the continued rollout of its software offering.

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