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i2There seems to be an emerging trend lately within the 3D printing space. Whereas in the last two years we have seen an all-out tsunami of new companies sprouting up out of reward-based crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the first eight months of 2015 seem to be the start of an entirely new trend.

That trend involves another form of crowdfunding, which provides backers with a form of equity rather than a product or a service. Equity crowdfunding platforms, such as Seedrs, Fundable, WeFunder, CrowdCube and others, are available for smaller companies to generate seed capital without turning to venture capitalists for help. Over the last few months alone we have seen a number of 3D printing companies either announce intentions to go this route, or already raise money this way. BioBots and MyMiniFactory are two such examples.

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Today we got word that yet another company, this one a Kickstarter success from last year, called iBox Printers, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Fundable.com. The company, based out of Melbourne, Florida, was able to raise over $450,000 on Kickstarter back in October of 2014 for their iBox Nano 3D printer. The Nano was available to the first 100 backers on Kickstarter at an almost unheard of price of just $189, and the company went on to sell over 1,700 machines from the Kickstarter campaign alone.

Here we are approaching the one year anniversary of their crowdfunding success, and now the company wants to turn their attention next to an expansion via equity investments. The Fundable campaign is targeted to those investorsi3 who are accredited and interested in a long-term stake in the company. iBox claims that they are the 7th largest 3D printer manufacturer on the planet with over 2,000 printers sold to date, equating to a 3-4% market share and over $500,000 in realized revenue ($70,000 of which came via pre-sales after the closure of their Kickstarter campaign). They also have accumulated over 30 patentable innovations since their launch, and continue to focus on R&D moving forward.

While we are not going to divulge the specifics of their business plan, as it’s only accessible to those who certify that they meet ‘accredited’ status (net worth of at least one million US dollars or an income of at least $200,000 annually for at least two years — $300,000 together with a spouse), the company does say that they will use a portion of the funds for the purchasing of new raw materials to expand their product line.

In total they are seeking $2 million at a $12 million valuation, and already have locked in $200,000 of this amount. The minimum investment is $25,000.

The Nano currently retails for $299.99 and has a rather small build envelope of just 1.57” x 0.79″ x 3.54”, not exactly a printer you’d want if you were trying to fabricate anything larger than a matchbox car, but as the company expands, they should be able to leverage their in-house technology to expand their product offerings and move into new verticals of the market.

Let us know if you have helped fund this campaign and what your thoughts on the company in general are. Discuss in the iBox forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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