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AM Ventures launches €100m VC fund for 3D printing’s most exciting industrial start-ups

AM Ventures has announced the launch of a €100 million fund to support 3D printing’s most promising start-ups. 

By joining forces with serial investors KGAL, AM Ventures’ majority shareholders and EOS owners the Langer family, are now able to offer the first-ever VC fund that’s dedicated to industrial 3D printing. KGAL’s input brings the total raised to 50% of AM Ventures’ target, and from spring 2022, the capital will be reinvested in start-ups that are developing their own hardware, software, materials or applications. 

“After six years of successfully investing in AM-based start-up companies, we decided to jointly take our business to the next level,” said the fund’s Founding Partner Dr. Hans Langer. “This step is a massive opportunity for all AM start-ups around the world, and will help to further accelerate the adoption of AM.”

AM Ventures' Managing Partners Arno Held (left) and Johann Oberhofer (right)
AM Ventures’ Managing Partners Arno Held (left) and Johann Oberhofer (right) recently hailed KGAL as “the perfect match.” Photo via Crunchbase.

AM Ventures’ growing portfolio 

Set up by EOS founder Hans Langer and his family in 2013, AM Ventures is dedicated to identifying and investing in 3D printing start-ups with mass-market potential. Currently, the firm has offices in Korea and Germany, from which it offers firms seed funding of €500,000 to €3 million, as a means of supporting their future growth. 

Since 2013, AM Ventures has built a portfolio of 15 different firms, but it has also invested considerably more elsewhere, helping many to establish themselves as industry stalwarts. For instance, software developer 3YOURMIND has benefited significantly from AM Ventures’ investment, raising $5.5 million in funding last year. 

Recently, AM Ventures also supported post-processing firm DyeMansion by contributing to its $14 million fundraising, while backing silicone specialist Spectroplast as well. However, with its new VC fund, AM Ventures is now significantly upping the ante, by assembling a potential €100 million warchest to pump straight back into the industry’s best and brightest new firms. 

DyeMansion recently released 17 new colours for parts produced using HP 4200 and 5200 3D printers. Photo via DyeMansion.
AM Ventures is a serial additive investor, and it provided funding to DyeMansion as part of a $14 million investment last year. Photo via DyeMansion.

Assembling a €100m warchest 

By committing to AM Ventures’ VC fund, KGAL has effectively bolstered the existing support provided by the Langer family’s eponymous LANGER GROUP, which is also AM Ventures’ largest shareholder. As one of Europe’s leading independent investors, KGAL has significant resources to offer the project, boasting €15 billion in assets under management. 

KGAL also has considerable experience when it comes to managing early stage, deep-tech investments, making it an ideal long-term partner for AM Ventures and the Langer family. As a result, the firms have now signed a deal, in which KGAL has become a shareholder in the newly-formed ‘AM Ventures Management,’ something that could serve to secure the companies’ partnership for some time to come. 

“This is a perfect match, the expertise of AM Ventures and KGAL ideally complement each other,” explained Dr. Klaus Wolf, CIO of KGAL. “Additive manufacturing offers impressive potential to produce industrial goods in a resource effective and sustainable way. Through this joint venture, we are laying the foundations for a long-term partnership, and for further funds in a strong growth market.”

With regards to the identity of the VC fund’s other backers, and the prospect of raising the other €50 million needed, AM Ventures has remained tight-lipped. However, citing “several multi-million commitments from a strong investor base,” and the one-off support of entrepreneurs, the company claims that it’s in a strong position to reach its €100 million goal, and begin reinvesting the capital next spring. 

“We are very proud to have found great partners to support our approach of providing high performance teams, and early-stage sustainable businesses with mission critical know-how, networks and other resources,” added Johann Oberhofer and Arno Held, Managing Partners at AM Ventures. “With a fund dedicated entirely to early-stage AM start-ups, AM Ventures continues its successful journey.”

A show of faith in 3D printing? 

Despite a generally hostile economic climate, investors have continued to show faith in the profitability of 3D printing firms, heavily backing them in recent months. 

Back in January, geometric deep learning specialist Physna raised $20 million in Series B funding, to help develop its 3D printing software offering. Alongside its newly-raised investment, the company also announced a major update to its Thangs engine, allowing users to search using 3D models instead of text. 

More recently, AR, graphic design, and 3D model provider CGTrader announced that it has raised $9.5 million in Series B funding. The company expects to enter a “high growth stage” in the near future, and the added investment is earmarked for ensuring that its online marketplace can cope with the increased demand. 

Last year also ended in a flurry of financial activity, with PrinterPrezz and NUBURU raising a combined total of $36 million in investment during December 2020. While NUBURU intends to leverage the funding to further develop its AI-welding system, PrinterPrezz is aiming to expand on the medical applications of its technologies. 

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Featured image shows AM Ventures’ Managing Partners Arno Held (left) and Johann Oberhofer (right). Photo via Crunchbase.

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