Arevo Adds $12.5M to Expand 3D Printing into Manufacturing

[Updated 5/17/18, 9:45 am. See below.] Silicon Valley company Arevo, which competes with a growing number of rivals to transform 3D printing into a tool for mass manufacturing, announced today it raised $12.5 million in a Series B financing round.

Arevo’s technology mix—which combines automated printing equipment with Web-based software and customized raw materials—exemplifies the changes in 3D printing since the days when it served as a mere tool for crafting prototypes and as a consumer novelty.

Consumers didn’t rush to buy their own desktop 3D printers to duplicate their lost board game pieces or make quirky sculptures. Instead, 3D printing startups have trained their eyes on opportunities to serve businesses by offering novel ways to produce goods in quantity.

The competing firms—which now like “additive manufacturing” as a descriptive term for their field—are scaling up their fabrication equipment to produce larger parts. They’re using software to guide robotic printing processes that can be customized to make product variations, and connecting to the Web for software updates, team collaborations, and commerce with related businesses.

Santa Clara, CA-based Arevo, founded in 2013 by a five-member team including founding CEO Hemant Bheda, drew its earliest backing from Khosla Ventures in mid-2016. New investors Asahi Glass, Leslie Ventures, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas joined Khosla Ventures in the Series B funding round just announced, which brings Arevo’s fundraising total to $19.5 million. [Updated to include the participation of Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.]

Arevo also announced the appointment of a new CEO, Jim Miller, a veteran executive who supervised logistical operations during high-growth periods at Amazon and Google. With its new capital, Miller plans to lead the commercial adoption of Arevo’s technology in industries ranging from aerospace and defense to medical devices, consumer electronics, and sporting goods.

In a collaboration with Littleton, CO-based design firm StudioWest Concepts, Arevo helped design a bike frame (pictured) that can be made with its system. StudioWest co-founder Doug Golenz says the thermoplastic carbon fiber resin Arevo uses in its fabrication offers advantages for bike owners. The frames are impact resistant, heat tolerant, environmentally stable, and recyclable, he says. StudioWest has designed bikes for companies including Raleigh and Electra, and Golenz says he has been demonstrating the Arevo frame to various clients and other bicycle companies.

In mid-2017, Arevo announced a technology development agreement with non-profit strategic investor In-Q-Tel, which scouts for innovative technologies that could be useful to U.S. intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security. According to a company press release, Arevo was tapped for its ability to mass-produce lightweight 3D-printed composite parts on demand, and also to customize those parts.

Arevo aims to carve out a place among other additive manufacturing companies, including Somerville, MA-based Formlabs, which makes 3D printers, related software, and plastic raw materials. Founded in 2011, Formlabs recently raised $30 million in a Series C funding round, bringing its fundraising total to $85 million.

New York-based 3D printing company Shapeways also raised $30 million in April, for a fundraising total of more than $100 million. In addition to working on its own projects, Shapeways opened up shop as a service provider to outside product designers who need technical help and advice in other areas such as marketing.

Burlington, MA-based Desktop Metal, which developed 3D printers for metal products, reaped $65 million in March in an investment round led by Ford, notching a fundraising total of $277 million.

In December, Redwood City, CA-based 3D manufacturing company Carbon announced the first closing in a Series D funding round aimed at reaching $200 million. In February, Carbon announced partnerships with two dental device companies to make customized dentures and other products.

Photo courtesy of Arevo

Bernadette Tansey is Xconomy's San Francisco Editor. You can reach her at btansey@xconomy.com. Follow @Tansey_Xconomy

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