It all started in May 2014, when New Matter informed 3DPrint.com that they would be launching an Indiegogo Campaign for the most affordable desktop 3D printer yet. Priced starting at just $149 for early backers and $249 for subsequent Indiegogo backers, the New Matter MOD-t 3D printer was the first of its kind to burst onto the scene using an entirely different, yet more simplistic, mechanical hardware system than we have seen before.
When the crowdfunding campaign was complete, New Matter had blown past their $375,000 goal to raise a lofty $683,804. Since then, the company has been creating prototypes of the machine, and iterating upon their designs to bring to market the best possible 3D printer they can at these incredibly low price tags (although retail units won’t be quite as cheap — see interview below for more pricing info). If anyone had any doubts that $680K would not be enough to successfully fund the production and development of New Matter’s 3D printers, today comes news that will certainly change these people’s minds.
Today, New Matter officially announces that they have raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. The funding round is led by Alsop Louie Partners, with several other well-known investors joining in. They include frogVentures, Arden Road Investments, Biotechonomy, Dolby Family Ventures, First Round Capital, and Idealab.
“We are very excited to continue our partnership with New Matter through this investment round,” explained Gilman Louie, from Alsop Louie Partners. “The MOD-t and the New Matter Store are poised to bridge the gap in consumer 3D printing user experiences and lead the charge into mass adoption of 3D printing in 2015.”
There is a lot on the horizon for New Matter, and this investment round should definitely go a long way in helping things run a bit smoother. This spring the MOD-t will begin shipping, and around the same time the New Matter Store will also launch. The store, which is yet another aspect of the company that could make them stand out from their competition, will be a place where consumers can purchase 3D printable content which has been tested and proven to work seamlessly on the MOD-t 3D printer. Hundreds of designs from some of the more well known 3D designers within the industry will be available upon launch.
At CES 2015, we had the chance to meet with New Matter CEO Steve Schell, as well as some other members of the team. We also got to see the MOD-t 3D printer and what it is capable of doing. I must say I walked away not only impressed with the quality of prints, but also the determination and drive that Schell has to make 3D printing accessible to everyone. The affordability of the MOD-t, combined with the ease of access of 3D printable content, should help New Matter really gain some attention from individuals as well as schools and small businesses around the globe.
“After being available in the industrial sector for many years, consumer 3D printing is truly coming to market in 2015,” said Steve Schell, co-founder and CEO of New Matter. “With this funding, we will be able to create the standard for consumer 3D printing. We are excited to build the first truly comprehensive 3D printing ecosystem that will make creating 3D objects as easy as clicking ‘print.’”
It should be very interesting to see what is in store for New Matter, once their MOD-t 3D printers begin shipping. Will they continue to develop their hardware technology and focus on releasing another machine, or will they solely focus on curating their store for now?
Thanks to Steve Schell for allowing us to conduct a brief interview with him pertaining to the new funding announcement made by the company today. See this interview below:
3DPrint.com: Do you have a retail price set yet for the MOD-t?
Steve Schell: The MOD-t will be priced below $400, although we have not finalized the number yet.
3DPrint.com: How does this change the way you operate as a company? $6.5 million is almost ten times what you raised on Indiegogo.
Steve Schell: Our goal is to deliver the best product possible. The funding will go towards optimizing the production of the MOD-t, getting the best designers and design for the New Matter Online store and of course, updating operations to make sure we have the best team possible on board.
3DPrint.com: What is the timeline for New Matter? Backers begin getting their printers this Spring. What are your hopes for the time-frame in which we will begin seeing pre-orders shipping, and when can we expect a full retail shipment?
Steve Schell: We are still targeting Q2 2015 for shipment of the Indiegogo MOD-t’s. We expect that you can start seeing the MOD-t available for retail in Q3 2015. We’ll have an update for our backers regarding specific timing in the very near future.
3DPrint.com: Any partnerships in the works for selling the MOD-t in retail stores like Best Buy, etc?
Steve Schell: We are not yet discussing any retail partnerships, but we definitely have conversations going.
3DPrint.com: When will the New Matter Store be launching? Will this include free files as well as paid, or will it just be 3D printable files posted for purchase?
Steve Schell: The New Matter Store will be launching as we send out our Indiegogo MOD-t’s. The store will have curated pieces designed specifically for the MOD-t. Designers will be able to set their own price, so there will be both free and purchasable designs available. Users will also be able to upload their own designs, which will then be curated by New Matter’s team to ensure that they are calibrated to get the best print from the MOD-t.
3DPrint.com: I might be getting ahead of myself, but do you have any other 3D printers planned for production?
Steve Schell: Right now we are focused on delivering the MOD-t and optimizing the New Matter Online Store.
What do you think of this latest round of funding for New Matter? Discuss in the New Matter funding forum thread on 3DPB.com.