3D Printing

Sketchfab Raises $7 Million for 3D Printing, Mixed Reality on the Web

3D model platform Sketchfab has seen significant growth since its inception in 2012, steadily integrating itself into every 3D software (like 3DS Max and Solidworks), every 3D scanning solution (such as the Fuel3D Scanify and the Structure Sensor), and even every publishing platform, including Facebook and reddit.  Given this rapid growth, it’s no surprise that the company has today announced the closure of a $7 Million Series A funding round led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from Sketchfab’s existing institutional investors: TechStars Ventures, Balderton, Partech and Borealis.

In a blog post, CEO Alban Denoyel reflects on the start-up’s history, “Three years ago, we made a triple bet that: Anyone would be able to create 3D content, everyone would start using 3D content, [and] the web was the best way to let everyone publish and find 3D content, and bridge 1) and 2).” He continued, “We were clearly super early on all those fronts. But three years later, we’re natively integrated with the most famous creation software – Photoshop – the largest publishing network – Facebook – and the most advanced AR device – the HoloLens – confirming our position as the standard for 3D content publication. Sketchfab is now used across all industries, by global companies like HTC, Blizzard, Microsoft, the British Museum… and thousands of 3D creators.”

Alban further reflects in his blogpost that 3D content is becoming easier to generate, due to the imminent introduction of 3D scanning smartphones and the increasing accessibility of 3D modeling software.  He is also well aware of the role that AR and VR will play in the near future.  Understanding these trends, the CEO says that Sketchfab will be there to tackle every corner of the 3D web, bridging the physical, “We are building Sketchfab because we believe 3D, virtual and augmented reality are changing the ways we consume content, and becoming a common media format just like video or sound. We were early then, and we’re ready now.”  He concludes by saying, “I’d like to thank our team who have built an incredible product, and our community who are using it in ways that amaze me every single day. Thanks for choosing us as the place for 3D, VR and AR on the web.”

FirstMark previously backed Pinterest, Riot, and Shopify, as well as BioDigital and BodyLabs, making them an ideal partner going forward.  And, with the addition of the firm’s managing director, Matt Turck, to their board, the company will surely pave a smooth road ahead.  That road will be an interesting one, to say the least.  I recently an opportunity to interview Sketchfab CEO Alban Denoyel and, as the 3D ecosystem evolves, it sounds as though Sketchfab plans to evolve along with it.