Inkbit, a developer of AI and machine vision-based 3D printing technology, has secured $12 million through an equity financing round led by Stratasys and DSM Venturing, the investment arm of Royal DSM. The new capital will enable Inkbit to accelerate the industrialization of its material jetting AM technology to meet the needs of multi-material and volume production. The funding will also allow the company to expand its 3D printing materials portfolio for the medical, life sciences and robotics sectors, as well as to install the first units of its 3D printer.
The funding round, which also saw investments from Ocado, 3M and Saint-Gobain, adds to a previous funding round in late 2017—led by IMA—which raised $2.8 million for Inkbit. The company, founded in 2017 as a spin-out from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), has also received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the National Science Foundation and MassVentures.
“We are excited to partner with such an extraordinary team of industry-leading players and impressed by their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation,” said Davide Marini, Inkbit cofounder and CEO. “The composition of this syndicate was chosen to maximize the speed of development and commercialization of our platform, with each investor bringing to us their unique expertise in equipment manufacturing, high-performance materials and applications in robotics, medical devices and life sciences tools. Our value proposition to customers is simple: we are adding a layer of machine vision and machine learning to material jetting, increasing its accuracy, reliability and enabling its use with production-grade materials.”
Inkbit has developed a contactless material jetting process that unlocks the ability to print with various production-grade materials at once. The company, which has already worked with such high profile early customers as Johnson & Johnson is on track to release its first commercial systems in 2021. This release, the company says, will be for select customers only. The recent $12 million investment will support the company on this path.
“As pioneers of jetting-based additive manufacturing solutions, we are excited to help Inkbit bring their technology to the factory floor,” said Ronen Lebi, Vice President of Corporate Development at Stratasys. “Vision-based feedback control and artificial intelligence will take additive manufacturing to a whole new level and will help to enable its widespread use for production.”
Pieter Wolters, Managing Director of DSM Venturing, added: ”Materials always play a major role in industrializing breakthrough technologies and in additive manufacturing they become absolutely critical. We are delighted to have Inkbit in our investment portfolio and look forward to helping them develop the best materials for customers world-wide.”
In addition to the funding, Inkbit will be welcoming a number of new members to its Board of Directors, including Guy Menchik, VP of R&D at Stratasys, Luda Kopeikina, Director of DSM Venturing, Paul Clarke, Ocado’s CTO, and Magnus René, CEO at Ovzon and formerly CEO at Arcam.