New York’s Makerbot, which creates DIY 3-D printers, has raised a $10 million round led by Foundry Group. The money will be used to scale the company, which is currently growing faster than it can afford.
Today, I’m excited to announce that MakerBot is taking $10 million in investment, with Foundry Group leading the round. Our investors are really invested–while Brad Feld and Foundry Group were getting to know us, they built their own MakerBot; you can visit Brad’s Thingiverse page to see what they’ve been printing! Foundry Group has worked with other startup companies that create hardware. We’re thrilled that they understand and support open source. This round will also include investment from Bezos Expeditions, True Ventures, RRE and many MakerBot angels (listed below). We are proud to be working with such great people and we are going to use this money do wonderful things.
To understand how we got to this point, let’s step into a MakerBotted time machine. In January of 2009, we started up the business and needed money to buy materials, make kits and then sell them. At that time, we were 3 guys, a lasercutter, and a dream. We went to our friend Jake Lodwick for $50k of seed investment. He let us take over a small corner of his office for inventory and shipping. Well, that little corner grew until we had taken over most of his office, at which point we had to move into our own space, the MakerBot Botcave. In those early days we also got Adrian Bowyer, creator of the RepRap project, involved. He and his wife, Christine Bowyer, contributed $25k to bring us to $75k of seed money that helped start MakerBot.
With that initial $75k, we developed the first round of prototypes and put the first 20 MakerBot Cupcake CNCs into production. We sold them and bought more parts and made them into kits and sold those too. As of today, we’ve transformed that $75k into 5200 MakerBots in the wild.
In 2010, we invited some of our favorite people and teams to be MakerBot Angel investors. Shana Fisher led the angel round and the MakerBot Angels are Shana Fisher/High Line Venture Partners, Bezos Expeditions, Kal Vepuri, Steve Garfield, Jake Lodwick, Chuck and Claudia Pettis (my folks), Founder Collective, Antonio Rodriguez, True Ventures, Matt Mullenweg, Sam Lessin, Joshua Schachter, Lerer Ventures, 500 Startups, and Thrive Capital. This angel round investment gave us the confidence to grow!
Our seed investors, angel investors and now our venture investors are an all-star cast of awesome people and teams and we’re proud to have them involved as we explore the future of personal fabrication.
What’s going to change? Brad Feld of Foundry Group will be joining our board and we’re hiring to grow the MakerBot team to democratize manufacturing and make 3D printing more accessible to everyone!