Jun 23, 2017 | By Benedict

New York City 3D printing company Voodoo Manufacturing has raised $5 million in a financing round led by venture capital firm General Catalyst, with participation from NextView Ventures, 645 Ventures, and Y Combinator’s Continuity Fund. The round takes Voodoo’s cumulative seed funding to $6.4 million.

Voodoo Manufacturing, an additive manufacturing company known for its factory-of-the-future 3D printing clusters, has had a prosperous 2017. In January, the New York-based company raised $1.4 million in seed funding from KPCB Edge, setting a positive mood for what was to come. The following months brought the introduction of Project Skywalker—a nine-printer, robotic arm 3D printing system for automated print job handling—and the company’s graduation from Y Combinator’s Winter 2017 startup program.

Now, thanks to Y Combinator and other contributors, Voodoo Manufacturing has raised a further $5 million in funding, following a successful financing round led General Catalyst. Voodoo says it will use this money to further develop its digital factory, making manufacturing “as fast, affordable, and scalable as software.”

Although it offers a range of 3D printing services, Voodoo Manufacturing is perhaps best known for its large-scale additive manufacturing production capabilities. Using large numbers of synchronized 3D printers—its current machine of choice is the MakerBot Replicator 2 FDM 3D printer—Voodoo enables clients to produce up to 10,000 iterations of a 3D printed part in a single order.

Voodoo Manufacturing claims that its Brooklyn-based facility can make thousands of plastic parts and products “faster than any manufacturing service that exists today.” But that doesn’t mean the 3D printing company plans to take its foot off the gas: the large-volume printing specialist now intends to fully automate its factory as a way to reduce costs by 90 percent over the next three years.

This cost reduction plan will purportedly involve automating much of the repetitive labor within the factory. But Voodoo also will use the new round of funding to expand its operations: the New York additive manufacturing company plans to double in size by the end of 2017, “adding key positions from factory to sales to engineering.”

“There is currently a lot of discussion around robotics and job automation,” said Max Friefeld, co-founder and CEO of Voodoo Manufacturing. “The truth is, as AI-enabled robots become more capable and collaborative, there will be new demand for jobs that require human skill-sets, like system maintenance and customer support.

“This will redefine what it means to be a factory worker, and we’re excited help make the United States a hub for manufacturing innovation once again with the help of our amazing investors.”

The financing round would not have been possible without General Catalyst, an American venture capital firm focused on early stage and growth investments. The company led the $5 million financing round, and partner Spencer Lazar had positive words to say about Voodoo Manufacturing.

"While the last wave of desktop 3D printers delivered affordable and accessible technology, Voodoo finally brings digital manufacturing to scale,” Lazar said. “Bridging the gap between idea and production has long been the dream of makers. Voodoo's approach to the 3D printing process incorporates automation and networking, yielding the fastest turnaround times at the best prices. We are excited to support the team.”

Voodoo Manufacturing was founded in 2015, and says it has built a reputation within the industry by offering “fast, affordable, and scalable 3D printing services.”



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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