Design Software Startup GrabCAD Bought by Stratasys for About $100M

[Updated 9/16/14 10 am]
3D printing isn’t exactly a new idea, but the costs and availability of the tools have greatly improved in the past several years.

That means a lot more people doing things with the technology. And it also means established companies are feeling some pressure to keep up.

Today we’re seeing the result: Cambridge, MA-based product-design software startup GrabCAD is being purchased by Stratasys, a big industrial 3D printing and manufacturing company. Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS) didn’t put a price on the all-cash deal, but reports from TechCrunch and BetaBoston peg the cost at about $100 million, and a source with knowledge of the deal confirms that figure’s accuracy.
[Added confirmation.]

That’s good news for investors in the company, which has raised about $14 million since its founding. Charles River Ventures, Matrix Partners, Atlas Venture, and NextView Ventures are among the VCs that have backed GrabCAD. This is also one of the larger acquisition prices I’ve seen for a former Techstars company.

Stratasys, which has its U.S. headquarters in Minneapolis, has previously spent big on 3D printing startups. In 2013, it bought New York-based consumer 3D printer company MakerBot for about $400 million.

GrabCAD—the CAD is a reference to “computer-aided design” software—was founded in Estonia in 2010 and moved to the Boston area for the summer 2011 Techstars accelerator class. It initially offered an online marketplace that connected mechanical engineers with customers, but in 2012 the startup shifted focus to collaborative CAD software for businesses.

Stratasys says it will continue to offer the GrabCAD software, and adds that co-founder and CEO Hardi Meybaum will lead the unit within its new parent company.

GrabCAD will also be staying in the Boston area and doesn’t expect the acquisition to result in layoffs from its team of about 50, marketing vice president Rob Stevens said.

“We are business as usual,” he said. “They’re not buying us to blow us up. They’re buying us because of the team here and what we’ve built.”
[Added comment.]

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