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3D printing investor raises $12.9 million

3D printing investment activity continues apace with news that San Francisco based venture capital firm, Pathbreaker Ventures, have completed their first round of fundraising.

Pathbreaker “invests in specialized teams building differentiated products that seek to transform industries” and are early investors in nTopology, a NYC-based 3D software company. According to documents filed with the SEC, nTopology issued short term convertible debt for an undisclosed amount earlier this month. For early stage investments Pathbreaker typically invest between $150,000 to $350,000.

Ryan Gembla. Image via Pathbreaker Ventures
Ryan Gembla. Image via Pathbreaker Ventures

According to Ryan Gembala, Managing Partner at Pathbreaker Ventures, timing of investments is,  “the earlier the better. We’re happy to be the initial capital that catalyzes a job switch, first hire, or hardware purchase.” Gembala is a former corporate development deal lead at Facebook and has previously worked with San Francisco early stage venture capital firm Azure Capital Partners.

Pathbreaker also invest in Visby. A company "building holographic light field technology"
Pathbreaker also invest in Visby. A company “building holographic light field technology”

In a post made by Gembala yesterday on Medium, Pathbreaker Ventures announced the final close of the $12.9 million fund. Gembala explained Pathbreaker will, “invest during an unprecedented period in technology history” in “10 initial portfolio companies spanning VR, robotics, deep learning, 3D printing, video, productivity, & logistics.”

3D printing: like music?

In an interview with 3DPI, nTopology co-founder Brad Rothenberg explained the software company’s  approach, which uses “generative design, building systems to help create structures and geometry.” Elaborating further he said, “Rather than just a traditional 3D model environment, where you’re just sculpting, this is more like composing.”

Using nTopology’s software to design 3D printable objects engineers can “create parts whose functional requirements are baked right in” according to the company’s website.

The ability to optimize lattice structures has allowed designers to create a range of functional objects including an “underwater vessel that can withstand relatively high pressure while maintaining low weight.

nTopology design for an underwater pressure vessel
nTopology design for an underwater pressure vessel

May you live in interesting times

Pathbreaker’s Gembala believes we are living in momentous times and writes, “historians will analyze the hardware and software platforms created during the 2010 to 2020 decade and be astonished by its impact on industry and humanity.”

As we recently reported, investment activity in the 3D printing industry continues to accelerate and the past quarter alone has seen a raft of venture capital investments. To stay current with developments as they emerge subscribe to our newsletter here.

Featured image from nTopology demonstrating a complex lattice structure.

nTopology's Element Pro 3D design doftware
nTopology’s Element Pro 3D design doftware