Boston has a new unicorn.
Desktop Metal, a metal 3D printing startup led by A123 Systems founder Ric Fulop, announced on Monday that it has raised a $115 million Series D round from top investors, including New Enterprise Associates, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and GE Ventures. The new round, which brings total funding to $212 million, puts the company’s post-money valuation above $1 billion, according to Dan Primack of Axios. Unicorns are private companies with valuations of at least $1 billion, meaning Desktop Metal has joined the ranks of other unicorns like Uber, Dropbox and Magic Leap. Boston-area unicorns include DraftKings, Infinidat and Actifio.
Desktop Metal is one of BostInno’s 17 tech companies to watch in 2017.
“We are blown away by the performance of the team and the technology at Desktop Metal.”
After being formed in 2015, Desktop Metal was in stealth mode until April, when the company revealed two metal 3D printing systems it promised would change the way companies do manufacturing. The first product hitting the market, the DM Studio System, is what the company calls the world’s first office-friendly metal 3D printing system, costing 10 times less than what a traditional system would cost. The company’s second product, the DM Production System, is a mass-production metal 3D printing system that can print parts 100 times faster than laser-based printing systems at a fraction of the cost.
Early customers include BMW, Lowe’s and construction giant Caterpillar, among other Fortune 50 companies. The venture capital arms of BMW and Lowe’s became investors with Desktop Metal’s $45 million Series C round earlier this year.
In the company’s announcement, Fulop said the funding will be used to accelerate the company’s go-to-market efforts, expand its sales programs and continued advanced research development. The company is also eyeing international expansion, as early as 2018. One of the company’s international investors is the VC arm of Saudi Aramco.
“We are blown away by the performance of the team and the technology at Desktop Metal, and that’s why we doubled down on our early investment in the company with our participation in this round,” Dayna Grayson, a partner at NEA, said in a statement. “They have opened up a new frontier for 3D printing with the speed and quality they can attain, redefining the term ‘3D printing’ itself to mean much more than simply morphing a digital model into a physical model on a one-off basis. This could affect manufacturing and processes for decades to come.”
Desktop Metal is among a number of Boston-area 3D printers that are trying to change the way companies do manufacturing. Last month, Formlabs, which focuses on plastic materials, revealed an automated assembly line of 3D printers that aim to help companies that specialize in “mass customization.” More recently, Markforged, which uses a range of composite materials, hired a former Twilio executive as its new chief revenue officer to continue the company’s sales momentum after seeing a 300 percent increase in revenue.