Berlin based industrial parts sourcing platform MakerVerse has secured €9.4 million ($10 million USD) in a recent Series A funding round led by venture capital firm 9.5 Ventures. All original seed investors, including ZEISS and Siemens Energy, also subscribed to the funding round.
Launched in early 2022, MakerVerse offers a platform which combines AI generated instant quotes with a verified global supply chain for various advanced manufacturing technologies, including additive manufacturing and CNC machining. Initially focused on the German market, the startup has since attracted a range of international customers. The company has drawn particular interest from industrial manufacturers, companies prioritizing sustainability, and the space industry.
It is hoped that this funding will enable the bureau to scale and expand its on-demand manufacturing services, and grow their AI-powered platform. In the future, MakerVerse hopes to grow capacity for even more large-scale production, whilst offering support to customers wishing to integrate the platform into their own existing systems.
“The last year has really proven that companies want a simpler way to innovate,” commented MakerVerse CEO Markus Seibold. “Our platform makes it easy to access advanced manufacturing technologies. With the additional funding, we will expand our technologies and help companies with even larger projects to drive further innovation.”
MakerVerse COO Ward Ripmeester said, “Many customers require additional assistance for their advanced manufacturing projects.” The funding will, “expand our end-to-end production order support, which involves creating complete manufacturing plans, providing expert guidance, and executing the entire project,” according to the Chief Operating Officer.
MakerVerse’s continued scaling and expansion
Since their foundation, MakerVerse has shown ambitions for continued expansion and development of their advanced manufacturing “one-stop-shop.” This funding therefore marks the latest step in the firm’s continued growth aspirations.
In March 2022, 3D Printing Industry had the chance to talk directly with CEO Siebold about the company’s long-term goals. Siebold claimed that the platform fills a distinct gap in the market for industrial-grade additive manufacturing, outlining ambitions for it to become the “Amazon of additive manufacturing”.
MakerVerse has already seen significant growth. Within a year, the company incorporated nearly 50 vetted suppliers, with their employee base expanding to over 30 employees from more than 15 countries. Moreover, during Formnext 2022, MakerVerse and ZEISS displayed the dimensional, surface, and material property-related assessment reports available on the platform, bringing ZEISS’s exclusive metrology technology to the industrial market. At the time, Siebel said that “Integrating ZEISS Quality Excellence Centers to our manufacturing partner network is the perfect solution for our customers needing industrial-grade quality inspections and reports for their AM parts.”
More recently, in February of this year, MakerVerse announced that it would be expanding its collaboration with industry leaders, offering improved enterprise integration, and incorporating new serial manufacturing capabilities throughout 2023. Alongside its on-demand service, the company announced that it will now offer additional expertise for serial production orders. This will enable experts to closely collaborate with clients to create, align, and oversee the entire manufacturing process, assuring consistency and repetitive quality for complex projects.
Manufacturing networks the focus of renewed investment
MakerVerse’s growth is part of a larger trend of investing in advanced manufacturing networks. There are several drivers behind the trend, including how the global pandemic brought attention to the fragility of supply chains, geopolitical tension leading to reshoring, and even environmental concerns around long distance transportation of goods. Passed in August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) seeks to promote re-industrialization within the United States and catalyze investment into domestic manufacturing capacity. With a slated $393 billion made available for climate change and decarbonization efforts.
A number of enterprises are actively engaged in creating distributed manufacturing networks and similar capabilities. For example, Core Industrial Partners, a Chicago-based venture capital firm, is building a network of additive manufacturers and on-demand service providers. To date, CORE has invested $700 million into North America’s lower middle-market industrial technology, manufacturing, and industrial service businesses. The firm’s latest investment came through their acquisition of Phoenix Proto Technologies, an on-demand manufacturing service provider. Based in Michigan, Phoenix Proto specializes in design, production-quality aluminum tooling, injection molding, CNC machining and additive manufacturing services.
This most recent acquisition continued a broader trend of investment within additive manufacturing by CORE, the company having announced in 2019 that it intended to build one of the “largest global additive manufacturing companies.” Efforts to achieve this goal include the 2020 procurement of metal 3D printing bureau GPI Prototype & Manufacturing Services, a firm specializing in direct metal laser sintering technology. This was followed by the 2021 acquisition of 3D printing materials manufacturer 3DXTECH, along with its subsidiaries Triton 3D and Gearbox 3D, and the January 2022 takeover of RE3DTECH.
Elsewhere, Xometry, a global manufacturing marketplace similar to MakerVerse, reported record-breaking revenue for 2022. Xometry’s revenue was $103.6 million for Q3 2022, versus $56.7 for the comparative 2021 figure. Xometry. Xometry Workcentre software was launched during the third quarter of 2022. Much like MakerVerse’s digital offering, Workcentre has been developed as an all-in-one Manufacturing Executive System (MES) offering a one-stop-shop for suppliers to view all their orders.
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