Carbon has raised over $260 million in growth funding co-led by Madrone Capital Partners and Baillie Gifford. New investors Temasek and leading material manufacturer Arkema – very active in the AM scene recently – joined the round with participation from existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), Fidelity Management & Research Company, adidas Ventures, and JSR Corporation. This brings Carbon’s total fundraising to more than $680 million.
“With the Carbon Platform, powered by our Digital Light Synthesis™ technology, companies are finally breaking free of the constraints of traditional polymer manufacturing methods to make what’s next now, and at speeds and volumes never before possible,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Carbon’s CEO and Co-Founder, during the analyst presentation conference held a few weeks ago.
De Simone confirmed that Carbon plans to use this new capital to expand R&D efforts, establishing its first Advanced Development Facility (ADF), and to fuel international growth and expansion in Europe and Asia. The ADF will enable Carbon’s engineering teams to improve Carbon’s platform and workflows in scaled-up manufacturing environments to better support its customers and partners. These strategic areas of investment will allow Carbon to continue delivering on the promise of 3D printing by enabling its customers in industries including healthcare, automotive, and consumer goods to accelerate product innovation and create breakthrough products that are digitally manufactured at scale.
Additionally, Carbon will use the funds to invest in its ongoing development of recyclable and biocompatible materials and to accelerate the expansion of its software capabilities including Carbon’s Digital Manufacturing Cloud. Carbon’s software objectives will emphasize automated design tools focused on algorithmic lattice generation, as well as improved digital factory workflow, including fleet monitoring, quality control, and compliance information management. As part of this expansion, Carbon will continue developing and improving the automation, monitoring, and analytics software that enables large-scale production on the Carbon Platform.
“What impresses me about Carbon is their diversification across markets and industries,” said Greg Penner, Founder and General Partner at Madrone Capital Partners and Chairman of Walmart. “Through their partnerships with large-scale manufacturers in automotive, healthcare, and consumer goods, they are proving that, with their Digital Light Synthesis technology, additive manufacturing in larger scale production is becoming a reality across industry sectors. This is an inflection point for the company, and we’re proud to be able to contribute to Carbon’s future success.”
Founded in 2013, Carbon has expanded to over 400 employees, including new C-level executives and a seasoned board of directors with experience across multiple industries. Team expansion plans include investing in the company’s sales, marketing, and customer experience to continue fueling Carbon’s growth.
“With the Carbon Platform, powered by Digital Light Synthesis technology, companies are finally breaking free of the constraints of traditional polymer manufacturing methods to make what’s next now, and at speeds and volumes never before possible,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Carbon’s CEO and CoFounder. “It’s been exciting to see how customers like adidas, Riddell, Johnson & Johnson, and Ford are using the Carbon Platform to make the unmakeable and bring breakthrough products to market in unprecedented timelines. Together, we are creating the playbook for digital manufacturing solutions.”
The Carbon Platform, which is now operational in 14 countries through a unique subscription business model, has seen a 33X increase in print volumes over the past 12 months and more than a 5X increase in print hours. The company has also released 17 new third-party resins and three new first-party resins over the past year. This consistent growth speaks to the success customers across a diverse range of industries are having on the Carbon Platform as they upgrade their analog manufacturing workflows to a digital factory of the future.
“Carbon’s business model is as innovative as its technology. Its “hybrid SaaS” business model is an industry first for manufacturing, enabling a high level of predictability and recurring revenue,” said Ellen Kullman, Lead Director of Carbon and former Chairman and CEO of DuPont. “Having designed smart hardware from the ground up that is updatable via regular, over-the-air software upgrades, the team is ushering in a new era of high-tech manufacturing, one destined to unlock the full promise of Industry 4.0.”
At the end of 2018, Carbon reduced prices for its key production resins, an unprecedented move in 3D printing, that aimed to increase the total addressable market for large scale digitally manufactured parts across industries. Shortly thereafter, at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford announced the first digitally manufactured polymer parts on production vehicles for the Ford Focus, F150, and Ford Mustang.
The company is catering to increased demand with higher productivity machines. In February, Carbon unveiled its newest printer, the L1. With ten times the build area of its first generation printer, the L1 is designed specifically for immediate high volume production and printing many parts simultaneously. Riddell and adidas are examples of customers using the L1 today, making them the largest users of 3D printers in the world.
In March, Carbon debuted its end-to-end digital manufacturing solution for dental and orthodontic labs. As part of this offering, Carbon introduced the L1 Production Solution for the high-volume production of clear aligners. As part of the expanded portfolio, Carbon also released the M2d printer for midsized dental and orthodontic labs with lower volume needs.