Dec 3, 2015 | By Alec

Over the past few years, the financial sector is increasingly recognizing the potential of the 3D printing market, which has already led to numerous interesting financial agreements, investments and more. And now it seems that US-based 3D printer manufacturer Robo3D is the next to get a financial boost, and one that will see it entering the Australian market as well. In a complex deal with prominent technology investor Anthony Grist and Australian mineral exploration company Falcon Minerals, the latter company has become the majority shareholder of Robo3D after paying $1.5 million USD for the stocks.

For those of you who’ve never heard of them, Falcon Minerals is a bit of a strange player in the 3D printing community. Essentially a ASX-listed mineral company that invests in the discovery and exploitation of mineral deposits, they only recently started looking into the 3D printing market. Tony Grist, meanwhile, is a big name in the technology investment market, who invests in a variety of upcoming technologies. He is simultaneously also looking into half a dozen other tech ventures, including Fitzroy Resources which is about to take over US-based memory technology company 4D-S. Grist also Deputy Chairman of ASX 200 company Vocus Communications and controls the investment vehicle Albion 3D, which plays a key role in the complex financial scheme that is going on.

Anthony Grist. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The target of it all is Robo3D, a US-based 3D printer manufacturer that has been making quite a splash in the US market. Distributing machines through big names such as Amazon and Best Buy, they quickly appear on the radar of beginning users (with their standard model costing around $900), while they have simultaneously worked with high-tech companies such as NASA, Intel and Qualcomm. All this has also been translating into financial successes – during the first nine months of 2015, they have generated approximately US$1.9 million in revenue, more than a million more than the same period during the previous year. It’s therefore hardly surprising that investors are stirring.

So what will happen during this new deal? Well, Falcon Minerals will acquire 100 per cent Albion 3D Investments (of Grist), which in turn has become a major shareholder in Robo3D for that $US1.5 million investment. Upon completion, Falcon will even change its name to i3D Technologies to reflect the changing focus of the company. Grist has told reporters that he will be given a 19.5 percent share in the new company.

All this began more than a year ago, when Grist began privately funding Robo3D after meeting with Dan Koziol, chief executive of Crowd & Company. Koziol will now also be appointed joint chief executive of Robo3D. Falcon Minerals finally approached Grist after learning of his involvement with the 3D printing venture. ‘They said we’d like to consider a transaction where we buy your business, essentially backdoor your funding vehicle into the public company,’ he said to reporters. As part of the deal, Robo3D will also begin looking at the Australian consumer market for 3D printers. What’s more, the deal has already led to a good response in financial markets. Falcon Minerals shares were as much as 74% higher today, following the announcement.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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