Numerous Kickstarter projects have graduated to become full-fledged companies. The ability to exploit the power of the crowd to launch an innovative new idea or product is changing the way companies access capital. Take for instance Oculus, a Kickstarter success which later sold to Facebook for $2 billion.
Another Kickstarter hit, this time a 3D scanner, has graduated from Kickstarter to become a company which is firing on all cylinders. After raising over $325,000 for their 3D scanner on the crowdfunding platform, and then another $2.6 million earlier this year via venture capital, Fuel3D has stepped things up a notch. Today the company, which was launched out of Oxford University, has announced an additional $6.4 million raised in a brand new funding round.
This latest round was led by Chimera Partners and will be put to good use in ramping up production in preparation of the launching of their consumer 3D scanner into the market next year. The funding will also enable the company to hire additional customer support representatives, expand globally, and address several vertical market opportunities for products within the biometrics and eyewear spaces.
“The initial interest shown by investors in Fuel3D has only been increased since the first funding round and we are very pleased to have been oversubscribed in this round of fundraising,” said Ben Gill of Chimera Partners and Chairman of Fuel3D. “The company continues to impress with its commitment to product development goals and has also made very significant inroads into developing new commercial applications and relationships.”
Currently Fuel3D has their manufacturing operations located in Asia with distributors spread out among 23 different countries. By combining pre-calibrated stereo cameras and photometric imaging, the Fuel3D scanner is capable of capturing images and converting them into a 3D model within seconds. Despite the influx of new applications which can turn ordinary smartphones into 3D scanners, Fuel3D’s product should appeal to a large portion of the market looking for fast, high-quality scanning technology.
“This funding round will take Fuel3D through the full commercial launch of our scanner next year, and will allow us to invest in new talent and infrastructure, including growing our operations in the United States,” said Stuart Mead, CEO of Fuel3D. “In tandem with our consumer product development, we will also be using the funding to further develop our intellectual property so that we can capitalize on the ongoing interest we receive from international brands in applying our technology in new verticals beyond 3D printing.”
Early reviews of their scanners have been outstanding. It will be interesting to see where they take this technolgy next, and what products may eventually have 3D scanning integrated into them as Fuel3D expands their scope. Have you used a Fuel3D scanner? What are your thoughts? Discuss in the Fuel3D Forum thread on 3DPB.com