The 3D printing space is certainly a hot one for investors. Although shares of major companies like Stratasys and 3D Systems are down substantially over the last few months, the venture capitalist market for funding 3D printing related start ups is hotter than ever.
SOLS, a 3D printed orthotics company which we reported on back in February, a couple of months after they raised $1.75 million in seed funding, has announced another major round of financing. Back in February we were lucky enough to interview their CEO, Kegan Schouwenburg, who was excited about the future prospects of her company. Today SOLS announced that they have raised $6.4 million in Series A funding, led by Lux Capital, the same investment firm who led their initial seed funding round, as well as Founders Fund. The funding will go a long way in expanding the company’s depth, by allowing them to hire more employees. They would like to have a 20 member team by June, including positions for product managers and other non-engineering roles.
SOLS, which specializes in a technology that enables customers to video scan their feet with an Android on iOS application, and turn that scan into a custom insole, has very high ambitions. They are already working with 50 doctors within the United States, who have been prescribing an average of 100 total orthotics per week to patients. Their next step will be to branch out into two separate brands, a medical (orthotic) and a customer brand (insole), and scale up production as quickly as possible.
Co-founder of SOLS, Kegan Schouwenburg, who was a former director of industrial design at 3-D printing marketplace Shapeways stated, “We basically saw something that had no innovation. I’ve been blown away by what we put on our feet and how far off that is from what our bodies look like. It only reinforces the fact that a custom solution is needed. Shoes are not engineered to fit, and it’s something we’ve been okay with for however long.” She continued, “Everyone, everywhere should have access to this technology.”
The company, which launched only eight months ago, has seen tremendous support from doctors, who see the technology as a major paradigm shift of the custom orthotics industry. In the early going SOLS has shipped about 500 insoles around the country. Doctors can charge whatever they want for the orthotics. However SOLS has a recommended price of $500. Later next year the company plans to introduce an over-the-counter customer brand of their product which will retail for about $100. Further details and discussion on this innovative approach to orthotics and insoles can be found on the SOLS forum thread at 3DPB.com. Check out the video below:
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