Carbon, formerly known as Carbon 3D, of Redwood City California have just successfully added a cool $81 million in venture funding to its Series C round. With the money coming from heavy hitters like BMW, GE and Nikon, adding to money from venture capitalists like GV and Sequoia Capital, the company are starting to raise some serious eyebrows.
Growing Parts and Prototypes
When you look at their product offer, it’s not surprising. Unlike traditional 3D printing, which just prints things in 2D over and over again, Carbon uses a combination of light and oxygen to effectively ‘grow’ objects out of a liquid pool of resins and elastomers.
The approach is revolutionary enough that Carbon managed to get it printed up in the research journal Science. Beyond just being new and different, however, the new method offers real advantages. Principally: speed.
The continuous liquid interface production, or CLIP, housed in their M1 machines (which use cloud-based design software), can produce prototypes or parts faster than any other current method. CEO and Co-Founder Joe DeSimone claims 25 to 100 times faster. They can even be used for creating small parts at volume.
Because of the unique way the parts are grown, they come out smooth, with no need to be machined, milled or polished like typical layer-printed parts have to be. This means they’re printed ready to go, with no need for further processing.
Growing the parts also allows for complex shapes and lattices, which can provide a much greater degree of structural integrity accompanied by a huge weight saving, ideal for drones, automobiles and other technologically advanced items that need to carry a load.
Ten Times The Growth
Right now the company is in its acorn stage, but this new funding is designed to speed up its mighty oak-tree potential.
The company has 50 machines leased out right now. By the end of this year they want to make that 100. By the end of next year, they’re aiming for 500.
The Final Countdown
Carbon has said this will likely be the last round of venture funding they seek. Having raised 222 million, they are already valued at one billion dollars, making them a pretty safe investment for companies that will also be part of the company’s future customer base.
Clients And Competition
Legacy Effects in Hollywood, BMW and Ford Motor Co., as well as Sculpteo and The Technology House have all made use of Carbon’s services so far. They are already partnering in a diverse range of industries, from aerospace to apparel, consumer electronics to medical devices.
The company is not without competition. Statasys, who tried and failed to get a consumer marketing going for desktop 3D printing, has just confirmed they are doubling down on industrial applications for the future. That said, Carbon’s unique approach is still a golden goose, unless someone else can reinvent 3D printing all over again.
While raising capital can be a challenge for some, Canva, the Australian based graphic design startup seems to have elevated fund raising to an art form with its latest round of funding at $15 Million (U.S.). Canva’s latest influx originates from Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures and brings the company’s value to an unprecedented $345 Million (U.S.), doubling its valuation.
Canva’s previous round of funding at $15 Million remains untouched. The company is pleased with its investors as well as the networks to which they have connected and with the latest influx of capital is poised for growth and success in the workplace.
The Canva media tools suite allow users of all levels to produce professional graphic designs and features a FREE consumer version as well as a PAID service. A collaboration designed for an seamless workplace which requires a strong visual design presence. The design tools allow template creation which can be edited as needed by all departments within an organization – the perfect complement at visual literacy expands into virtually every profession globally.
Canva is currently offered for desktop applications, iPad, and IPhone in 11 languages. An Android version is coming as are nine new language versions.
Canva’s growth has been rapid since its founding in 2012. The company currently has a staff of more than 120 people from Sydney, San Francisco, and Manila and customers across the globe including the United States, Australia, India, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Palo Alto based Sapphire Ventures, owned by SAP, secures $1 Billion to invest in a new $700 Million growth fund and a $300 Million tech fund.
Following on the heels of a large group of venture groups – including Lightspeed Ventures Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Accel Partners, Founders Fund, and Andreessen Horowitz – Sapphire Ventures joins the circle raising $1 Billion plus in 2016.
Like Wells Fargo and Norwest, Sapphire, along with limited partner SAP do not consider themselves corporate venture, but rather classic venture firms who do not invest by funding companies that can be sold to their partners.
Sapphire became an independent unit in 2011, and has subsequently funded 14 companies which have already moved from private to public and includes familiar names like Apigee, Box, and Square. In addition, Sapphire funded 33 acquisitions including the wildly popular LinkedIn.
Sapphire targets companies with a minimum of $5 million in revenue and invests in startups providing funds of up to $25 million.
Bill Maris, who founded GV (Google Ventures) in 2009, recently stepped down to allegedly spend more time with his wife and son as well as consider new ideas. A recent report states that Maris is now in talks to raise $500 Million for his own fund. Confirmation of the reports is still pending.
Bill Maris was succeeded by David Krane, who had previously spent nearly 10 years as Google’s Director of Public Affairs and Global Communications. Today GV employs 70, almost all in the United States, with several partners in London and is exceptionally diversified including interests from the food industry to primary medical care.
Considering Bill Maris education in neuroscience, his interest run the gamut, but life sciences seem to intrigue him, meaning any new fund under his direction would have a broad range of interests involved.
The awesomely named (and likely Pratchett-inspired) start-up Sourcery Technologies Inc. is looking to change the way restaurants handle their relationship with vendors, and vice versa, by creating a portal interface solution for both sides.
They have just secured $5 million in venture funding from their original backers Marker LLC, together with Steadfast Venture Capital, Palantir and more. So what’s the big deal?
Software As A Service
Software as a service is becoming more ubiquitous all the time, and that’s because it helps businesses do what produces results while cutting time from administration. Sourcery will do just that for restaurants.
The opportunity was identified when it became clear that restaurants are way behind the times on Accounts Payable. Most still order by phone, pay by check, and most vendors send paper invoices. This mess of un-trackable communication and losable paper becomes very complicated very quickly.
Sourcery takes everything paperless, using a digital interface designed for both restaurants and their vendors. This allows people to use scanners to digitize existing invoices and receipts, with software that extracts and organises the relevant information into the appropriate places. They can then generate future paperwork digitally, saving a lot headaches, and the environment.
This information will then be used to give restaurant owners an accurate, up to the minute take on not only their AP, but how that is affecting the rest of their business. In a restaurant, food costs have to be around a third of total costs – Sourcery will track this and alert restaurant owners to the real proportions in real time. There are a host of obvious applications to accounting and taxation, too.
Most of the innovation in the restaurant industry has been focused on customer experience, but this is one of the few to look at optimizing processes behind the scenes to make the business owner’s life easier.
The company wants to use this five million to create the same service for vendors as they have for restaurants. This will enable vendors to issue invoices, track them and bill customers all through the app. The idea is to be fully scalable, so quant little farm shops find it as easy to use as large scale manufacturers.
The company isn’t going to stop there. In the short term, they’re going to introduce data insights and enterprise features for restaurants. Medium term, they’re looking at widening out the application of the software to include appliances and even utility spend, to create a whole-restaurant performance tracking solution.
There’s also word of expansion beyond restaurants into other retail applications, which means the software has the potential to blow up big time in the next few years.