3-D Printing Startup Markforged Raises $82 Million
Markforged, a 3-D printing startup and Forbes 2018 Next Billion Dollar Startups List alum, raised $82 million, the company announced Wednesday. Summit Partners, a private equity firm with $19 billion in capital, led the round, bringing the Watertown, Massachusetts-based company’s total funding to $139 million. Additional investors included Matrix Partners, Microsoft Ventures and Porsche SE.
Markforged forecast $70 million in revenue for 2018, a number the company says it hit, but declined to disclose specific revenue for last year as well as its new valuation. Its most recent public valuation was $300 million in November 2017, according to Pitchbook.
The latest funding is ear-marked for research and development, Greg Mark, the company’s 38-year-old cofounder and CEO, told Forbes. Doubling the company’s 83-member engineering team will lower the costs of Markforged’s 3-D printers and amp up production speeds, he said. The company will also open offices offices in Dublin and the Asia-Pacific region.
Mark launched Markforged in 2013 when most 3-D printer companies were cranking out resins and plastics. Instead, Markforged focused on carbon, which is stronger and more suitable for a variety of industrial uses. “I realized there was a huge gap between the high and low-end printers that were on the market,” Mark said. “You could either use a $2 million system or spend only $2,000 to produce weak, plastic materials that really just sucked.” Today, the company makes printers for both carbon and metal.
A slew of newer 3-D printing makers have launched in recent years, including Desktop Metal and Carbon, both of which are now unicorns. According to Terry Wohlers, president of 3-D printing consulting firm Wohlers Associates, Markforged remains a contender. “Despite being much smaller than some of the others, they’re quite vibrant and have been quite successful with the roll out of their products,” Wohlers told Forbes. Markforged shipped more than 2,500 industrial printers last year to clients that include Siemens and Lamborghini, according to Wohlers. Price points help move product. Its Metal X printer costs just $99,500, compared with the average selling price for metal 3-D printers of $413,000, he added.