by General Fabb
Since they emerged in 2008, 3D print service Shapeways has continually enhanced their capabilities very regularly. In fact, it's rare week that we don't mention Shapeways in one way or another. As such, they've grown from nothing to what is probably the most visible 3D print service in the world. Now they're making a big change.
As a viable startup company with lots of potential, they've attracted the attention of big-time investors Union Square Ventures and Index Ventures, who have injected USD$5M into Shapeways. This cash will enable them to expand even more rapidly - and we're wondering how much faster they can do so, given their rapid progress thus far. But their track record is one of success, so we're expecting to see many more amazing things.
A second part of the announcement is more dramatic: Shapeways is moving their headquarters from their embryonic home in Eindhoven, Netherlands to the Big Apple, New York City. Whether this was a condition of Union Square's investment, or as Shapeways writes they wished to be closer to their large community in the US, we'll never know for sure. Just so you know, Union Square Ventures is located on Broadway in New York City.
One ominous bit in the otherwise huge announcement: "we are currently not able yet to pay all of our bills ourselves". This suggests they are not yet profitable as a startup company. But never fear, startup companies always lose money for a while. However, if they have good strategic plans to become profitable, they will likely attract big time investors. And that's just what happened.
Nevertheless, this is totally amazing news for Shapeways and the 3D printing community. It means not only that Shapeways receives a huge boost, but also that those outside the 3D printing community now think very highly of our industry. Well done, everyone!