Desktop Metal nabs $160 million in latest round of funding

Led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, Desktop's latest investment is the largest total funding of any private 3D printing company ever.

0 January 24, 2019
Devin Jones

Desktop Metal

Left to right: Studio printer, debinder and furnace. Photos courtesy of Desktop Metal.

Massachusets-based Desktop Metal, known for the Studio and Production systems, added $160 million to their portfolio in the latest round of E-series funding.

Led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, a subsidiary of Koch Industries the now $438 million worth of investments, is the largest total funding of any private 3D printing company ever. Also contributing to the round were GV ( the venture capital investment arm of Alphabet Inc), Panasonic, and Techtronic Industries.

“Desktop Metal’s 3D printing solutions can redefine prototyping and mass production of metal products, which has profound disruptive implications for manufacturers like Koch Industries,” said Chase Koch, President of KDT. “We are very bullish about the prospects of Desktop Metal, not just as an investor, but also as a customer and partner.

The aforementioned Studio system serves as a small-scale or “office-friendly” metal AM printer, eliminating lasers and loose powders while providing a simplified setup. On the other hand, the Production system, currently slated for shipment to customers in the first quarter of 2019, is touted as a metal AM powerhouse; Desktop Metal claims this high-output model will be the fastest metal printer available.

The Production system has seen a strong positive response in part because of the decision to use cheaper metal powders than that of that of a powder bed fusion process. Furthermore, it’s considered 100 times faster than laser powder bed fusion systems and touts a 400 per cent higher productivity rate than binder jetting platforms.

Desktop Metal

The Desktop Metal Production System.

“I’m interested in seeing the Koch’s getting into AM. $160 million is certainly significant and I look forward to seeing more projects come to fruition using Desktop’s technology,” said Frank Defalco, founder of Canada Makes.

Customer’s of Desktop Metal’s prototyping printer include Nike, John Deere, ProtoLabs, 3M, BMW, Google, Toyota, Microsoft and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security amongst others.

The last funding announcement from Desktop Metal came in March of 2018 when Ford led a $65 million investment round. According to the company, their portfolio at the time included more than a hundred pending patent applications. Previous venture capital investors in the company, include Lux Capital, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Kleiner Perkins.

“We are at a critical juncture in the advancement of metal 3D printing and additive manufacturing,” said  Ric Fulop, CEO and Co-Founder of Desktop Metal. “We are excited about Koch being an investor, customer and capability provider in this round. This new funding will fuel the continued development of our metal 3D printing technology. Combined, this will set us on a trajectory to become a global leader in metal 3D printing, a key pillar of Industry 4.0.”

www.desktopmetal.com


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