In the 3D printing world, it seems there’s no time to waste. This is certainly true for some of the participants in the industry that are now seeing some exceptional growth in pretty impressive timelines. One of these companies that we’ve seen popping up on our radar quite a bit lately is SOLS.
The company produces medical-grade, custom-fit orthotics and wearables via additive manufacturing means, and they’re aiming high. The next step will be to bring their products directly to the consumer market.
The company, not even two years old yet, was founded in July 2013 and has already seen successful initial funding rounds. Last April, their Series A funding raised an impressive $6.4 million, which was integral to the company’s growth beyond their initial seed funding rounds.
Today, they announce that in Series B funding, an even more impressive round of capital has rolled in — to the tune of $11.1 million.
SOLS has now grown to encompass a team of more than 45 employees working with a network of more than 300 professionals in the medical field. To date, the company has now raised a staggering $19.3 million in investor funding. Among SOLS’ list of investors are big names such as Lux Capital and Founders Fund, which participated in both Series A and B funding, and now Tenaya Capital and Melo7 Tech Partners with “significant new investments.”
“This is a pivotal time for SOLS as we aim to bring our mass customized 3D printed footwear direct to the consumer. The vote of confidence we have from our current investors and the additions of Melo7 and Tenaya only continue to validate the need to transform the footwear industry and enhance the way we move,” stated Kegan Schouwenburg, SOLS’ founder and CEO.
The company is able to entice investors through a sound business plan that appeals to the practical usage of their products. Because most people spend a significant portion of their lives at least a little mobile, proper footwear can be a critical component of daily comfort — even moreso for athletes, whose careers hinge on their ability to move properly. Orthotics, insoles, and even complete shoes, like their prototype of the ADAPTIV shoe, provide significant promise for those who rely on quality products.
“As an athlete, I understand the relationship between high performance, skill and proper biomechanical alignment,” noted Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks — and co-founder of new SOLS investor, Melo7 Tech Partners. “SOLS is a pioneer in 3D printed, comfort custom orthotics and is changing the dynamics of the category — making wearable technology actionable and relevant for the everyday man. I believe in the ambition of the Company and wanted to be a part of it at the onset.”
Investors aren’t the only tie to the NBA just now for SOLS — the company has also announced a new addition to their Board of Directors. SOLS is now welcoming Terdema Ussery, President and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. The enthusiasm of these professional basketball players and management speak to the support of athletics for 3D printing’s potential in the field.
“I am excited to be joining the dynamic team at SOLS,” said Ussery of his new post. “Their technical innovations, passionate consumer focus and mission to enhance, enrich and seamlessly empower the mobility of all its users — whatever their daily journey — is truly transformative. The team at SOLS is building the future of orthotics and I am honored to join the SOLS Board and assist them in this journey by providing strategic insight and direction.”
SOLS, for its part, is certainly pleased at the recent show of support for the concept and company.
Founder and CEO Schouwenburg has a background in fashion design, and admits that sports is a different sort of arena. As she noted to Business Insider, “This is a whole new world for me.” The fusion of these two arenas is actually quite natural, particularly when it comes to the types of products SOLS produces and is developing.
“We are honored to have Terdema join our board, he is the synthesis of what SOLS stands for,” Schouwenburg said. “With his rich background in performance sport from his time at Nike, to his real-world experience and application with the Dallas Mavericks, his insight will be invaluable as we work to transform SOLS into a recognizable, household brand.”
Ties to the athletic world will certainly help in SOLS continuing development, as well as in raising the company’s profile.
Altogether, the Series B funding will lead the way in bringing SOLS’ products to consumers, a goal they have had in mind for 2015 for some time. The investors in Series B seem unanimously united in the vision of SOLS’ success.
“We pride ourselves on backing passionate founders like Kegan. We are excited to continue supporting the SOLS team as they work to bring custom-manufactured wearables to consumers,” said Founders Fund’s Ken Howery.
Lux Capital’s Zack Schildhorn added, “This Company is reinventing footwear and reimagining how personalized products are made. We couldn’t be more proud of the team’s progress and are excited to support their vision of the future.”
What do you foresee in SOLS’ future? Let us know in the SOLS Announces Successful Series B Funding forum thread over at 3DPB.com.