Digital manufacturing company Voxel8 has completed a Series B funding round led by the investment arm of DSM, DSM Venturing. The investment round also saw funding from HP Tech Ventures and existing backers Bræmar Energy Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners. The funding—though unspecified in its amount—will enable Voxel8 to ramp up the adoption of its footwear/textile 3D printing technology.
Founded in 2014 by Harvard University professor and AM innovator Dr. Jennifer Lewis and a team of Harvard scientists and engineers, Voxel8 has something of a unique offering within the AM industry. The company, backed by extensive research and over 30 patents related to printing structural and functional materials, has developed multi-material digital manufacturing technologies for use in the areas of design, footwear, apparel and smart textiles.
Most recently, the company unveiled its ActiveLab Digital Fabrication System, a multi-material 3D printer developed specifically for producing high-performance athletic footwear uppers and textiles. The system enables rapid design cycle times, reduced manufacturing reorder lead times and lower costs associated with labor, tooling and logistics. The technology also creates opportunities for customized products with little additional cost and can meet high-volume production needs.
“Our digital manufacturing systems are revolutionizing how footwear and athletic apparel is designed, manufactured and sold to consumers across the globe,” said Travis Busbee, CEO and Co-Founder of Voxel8. “We are excited to work with this team of world-class and experienced investors. Their global reach, expertise and funding will accelerate the rapid adoption of Voxel8’s technology for high-volume production of athletic footwear and apparel.”
Pieter Wolters, Managing Director of DSM Venturing, commented on the investment, saying: “Voxel8 is an excellent addition to our portfolio. Its multi-materials digital manufacturing platform is poised to dramatically impact the footwear and the sports apparel markets, strategic to DSM. We are excited to help Voxel8 become a leading innovation platform in these markets.”
Jiong Ma of Bræmar Energy Ventures added: Voxel8 is uniquely differentiated as a leader in multi-material digital manufacturing, which we believe will meaningfully expand the realm of possibilities for digitally manufacturing a wide range of products. Within the athletic footwear market alone, over 2.5 billion pairs of athletic shoes are manufactured globally each year. Voxel8 is well-poised to capture substantial market share in athletic shoe upper manufacturing and, more broadly, medical and smart textiles.”