KDT Leads $160 Million Investment in Desktop Metal

Combined funding rounds are now at $438 million, reportedly making Desktop Metal a highly funded private 3D printing outfit.

Combined funding rounds are now at $438 million, reportedly making Desktop Metal a highly funded private 3D printing outfit.

Printed with Studio System, this fuel atomizer is redesigned to function in a more fuel-efficient manner than traditional metalworking means, according to Desktop Metal. Image from Business Wire.

Desktop Metal announced the closing of a $160 million funding round, led by Koch Disruptive Technologies (KDT), to advance the global commercialization of its metal 3D printing technology. Combined funding since its 2015 inception is now at $438 million.

KDT is an investment firm focused on finding and funding innovative and emerging technologies. KDT is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-held companies in America with over $110 billion in annual revenues, according to Forbes, and an investor of more than $17 billion into technology companies in the last six years.

“Desktop Metal’s 3D printing solutions can redefine prototyping and mass production of metal products, which has profound disruptive implications for manufacturers like Koch Industries,” says Chase Koch, president of Koch Disruptive Technologies. “We are very bullish about the prospects of Desktop Metal, not just as an investor, but also as a customer and partner.”

The Desktop Metal Production System is designed to print a broad range of alloys, including reactive metals such as titanium and aluminum. This process enables the use of metal powders that are at lower cost than laser powder bed fusion metals. The technology is being adopted by major Fortune 500 companies and initial systems will begin shipping commercially in Q1 2019.

The Studio System is a metal 3D printing system that can print and sinter parts in an office environment.

“We are at a critical juncture in the advancement of metal 3D printing and additive manufacturing,” says Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal. “We are excited about Koch being an investor, customer and capability provider in this round. This new funding will fuel the continued development of our metal 3D printing technology and rich product roadmap, the scaling of operations to meet a growing demand of orders, and the financing of major new research and development initiatives.”

Early customers of the Studio System include: Ford, Stanley Black and Decker, Goodyear, 3M, Google’s ATAP, BMW, ProtoLabs, Owens Corning, L3, TerraPower, Medtronic, Continental AG, Applied Materials, TECT Aerospace, US Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, MITRE and educational institutions such as MIT, University of Texas, Texas A&M and Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School, the nation’s first high school to install a metal 3D printer.

Additional investors in the Series E funding round include GV (formerly Google Ventures), Panasonic and Techtronic Industries, as well as previous venture capital investors in the company, including Lux Capital, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Kleiner Perkins.

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Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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