3D printing startups in UK and Ireland bag €4.2 million

Today two (unrelated) 3D printing startups, one in Ireland and the other in the UK, have received significant financial attention.

Wazp, a 3D printing supply chain management company headquartered in County Kerry, has just raised €2 million in funding.

Meanwhile, across the pond in Liverpool, digital spare part marketplace Connect 4.0 has just secured a €2.2 million contract from South African service bureau Robotica 4.0.

Wazp to bring 3D printing supply chain solutions to the U.S.

Founded in 2014, Wazp’s vision is “to bring 3D printed products in volume to many customers.” To do this, it produces a number of software platforms, including the Wazp Digital Supply Chain Solution, that allows companies to manage, schedule and track orders for 3D printed products.

Sample Wazp Digital Supply Chain Solution interface. Image via Wazp
Sample Wazp Digital Supply Chain Solution interface. Image via Wazp

In addition, the company has a software toolkit for optimizing 3D printable files, and an Additive Manufacturing Platform linking businesses to a network of 3D Printing Makers. In 2017, the company helped IKEA produce its first 3D printed product – the OMEDELBAR hand used a decorative element for dressing rooms.

The money recently raised by Wazp will be used over the next two years to strengthen its position in the European market, and expand production into the U.S. Contributions to the €2 million pot were provided by seasoned technology investor Pa Nolan and  John Moloney, managing director of Irish global nutrition group Glanbia.

Speaking to the Irish Times, Wazp CEO Shane Hasset, commented, “Over the last four years we’ve made some major strides in volume 3D printing for clients and we now want to build on what we’ve learned and make the most of what is a booming market […] Our turnover has grown at least five times every year for the last three years and that is expected to continue into 2019 and 2020.”

Connect 4.0 signs million Euro contract one year after launch

Connect 4.0 was founded in 2018 on the principle of helping customers design and customize high-tech products. One way in which this is achieved is through the company’s Co-Fabrico platform – cloud software as a service (SaaS) that facilitates AR customization, and the on demand production of 3D printed car parts.

Co-Fabrico AR customization app. Photo via Co-Fabrico
Co-Fabrico AR customization app. Photo via Co-Fabrico

The development of Co-Fabrico was achieved with the support of Warrington’s Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) LCR 4.0, a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) project to help SMEs in Liverpool adopt cutting edge technologies.

In this new contract valued at €2.2 million, Connect 4.0 will white label its Co-Fabrico platform for Robotica 4.0’s 3D printing services in Angola.

Irma Gilbert, business development manager at Connect 4.0, comments, “LCR 4.0 and the VEC have helped us to gain a better understanding of the real-world applications of augmented reality and how we could use it to enhance our own digital supply chain platforms,”

“Not only has the work with LCR 4.0 enabled us to take the Co-Fabrico platform to market, but it’s been instrumental in securing a £2-million client contract, we couldn’t be happier with the results.”

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Featured image shows Wazp co-founders Shane Hassett and Mariana Koba. Photo via the Irish Times