3D-Printing: Shapeways (NL) erhält $5 Mio. von Fred Wilson & Co.

Das holländische Startup Shapeways hat in einer ersten großen Finanzierungsrunde fünf Mio. Dollar von Union Square Ventures und Index Ventures erhalten.

Shapeways arbeitet an einer Plattform für 3D-Printing, einem potentiell disruptiveren Feld als das Internet:

shapeways

"Shapeways is at the vanguard of a group of companies democratizing physical production in the same way that new technology has allowed millions of people to create and share digital content like videos or podcasts. Other examples include Ponoko and 100K garages."

Shapeways erlaubt das 3D-Printing mit Glass, Stahl, Plastik und einer eigenen Substanz, welche sich ähnlich verhärtet wie Zement.

Um eigene Produkte zu erstellen und zu erhalten, lädt man das eigene Design bei Shapeways hoch, wo die 3D-Druckbarkeit automatisch geprüft, bei positivem Befund das Produkt erstellt und anschließend verschickt wird.

shapeways-howitworks

Ben Holmes von Index Ventures über das Geschäftsmodell von Shapeways:

"Many other companies such as eBay, ETSY*, Notonthehighstreet.com* and Moo* have all become very successful by tapping into people’s creative instinct and providing a marketplace for the long tail of designers to access production capacity or by exposing the small producer to mass market online.

In this sense, Shapeways is operating a model which had substantial prior validation and where many network effects can help rapidly build a big business. Some of the effects are already coming into play for Shapeways, yet there is great opportunity to learn more from the success of other great companies and harness the network and scale effects to our advantage."

Shapeways selbst entwickelt keine eigenen Maschinen, wie Ben Holmes ausführt:

"Shapeways itself doesn’t develop the machines although it does work in very close collaboration with machine producers and operators to maximise product quality and minimise costs passing these savings onto the consumer.

Our sense was that both on quality and price there were already many interesting applications for 3D printing (e.g. Puzzles, Jewellery, Homewares, etc.) but that the universe of potential applications could explode if prices and quality continue to progress in their current direction over the next few years."

Albert Wenger von Union Square Ventures über Shapeways:

"Shapeways motto is "Personalized products FOR you and BY you" which captures the two goals for the company.

The "BY" part of the motto is about empowering 3D designers to sell products without having to invest in their own production capacity (and is a good example of our belief in the Internet's force in shifting "power to the people").

The "FOR" part is about making it easy for anyone to find a product, customize it further and then have it delivered all without having to know anything about the underlying 3D printing technology."

Zum aktuellen Portfolio von Union Square Ventures zählen unter anderem Etsy, Twitter, Tumblr und die Open-Source-Hardwarehersteller Bug Labs.

Union Square Ventures setzt mehr als andere VC-Investoren auf Plattform-Ansätze (und das recht erfolgreich). Auch Shapeways verfolgt einen Plattform-Ansatz, der nicht so weit etwa von Etsy entfernt ist:

Shapeways bietet seinen Nutzern mit einer Shop-Plattform auch eine Möglichkeit, ihre mit 3D-Printing erzeugten Produkte direkt über Shapeways zu vertreiben.

Shapeways ist eine Philips-Ausgründung und zieht im Rahmen der Investition von den Niederlanden um nach New York.

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Kategorien:3D-Printing, Crowdsourcing, Die neuen Produkte, Social Commerce

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