Ford leads $65M funding round for Burlington-based unicorn Desktop Metal

by Justine Hofherr
March 20, 2018
desktop-metal
Photo via Desktop Metal

Ford Motor Company believes that the future of manufacturing is metal 3D-printing — and that’s why the industrial giant just led a $65 million funding round for Burlington-based Desktop Metal, a company focused on making metal 3D printing accessible for engineers and manufacturers.

The financing, which was announced this week, will go toward fueling the company’s growth, and bringing its scalable metal 3D printing technologies around the world.

“The age of metal 3D manufacturing is here and this strategic partnership with Ford, along with our portfolio of investors, validates our vision to transform the way metal parts will be designed and mass produced,” said Desktop Metal CEO Ric Fulop in a statement.

...this strategic partnership with Ford, along with our portfolio of investors, validates our vision to transform the way metal parts will be designed and mass produced.”

The funding follows a major year of milestones for Desktop Metal, which grew to more than 225 employees, established nearly 100 channel partners and resellers, and expanded its distribution to more than 40 countries.

Furthermore, in July 2017, the company became a unicorn after raising a $115 million Series D, putting the Desktop Metal's post-money valuation above $1 billion. The round also marked the largest individual private round for a metal additive manufacturing company ever.

Founded in 2015, Desktop Metal has a mission to transform manufacturing and engineering with its metal 3D printers. The company operated in stealth mode for two years, until it unveiled two trademark 3D printing systems this past April. The company’s first product, the “DM Studio System,” is described as “the first office-friendly metal 3D printing system for rapid prototyping,” and is 10 times less expensive than similar technology.

Desktop Metal’s other printing system, “Production System,” was created for mass production of high-resolution metal parts at a speed “100 times faster than today’s laser-based additive manufacturing systems.”

With its most recent round of funding, Desktop Metal’s total investment to date is $277 million.

In a related announcement, the company also announced that Ford’s Chief Technology Officer will join the Desktop Metal Board of Directors.

“The continued support of our investors underscores the power of our metal 3D printing solutions to help engineers and manufacturers, for the first time, apply metal 3D printing for the entire product development lifecycle — from prototyping to mass producing complex, high-performance metal parts in a cost-effective way,” Fulop said

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