The market for licensed 3D printable content is starting to take shape, as multiple companies from Launzer to TurboSquid secure big brand names to manufacture 3D printed products. Source3™, a startup formed by ex-Google and 3D Systems’ team members, is set to be among the leading businesses to occupy the space, having previously teamed with zVerse to fabricate a 3D printed cover for Capcom’s upcoming Street Fighter V title and, now, receiving a big chunk of change through a Series Seed round. The round, led by Contour Venture Partners, saw Western Technology Investments, Correlation Ventures, Crosslink Capital, 645 Ventures, as well as angel investors and Autodesk’s Spark Investment Fund contribute a total of $4 million to the 3D printing startup.
Before Source3, members of the company were responsible for RightsFlow, a music licensing platform eventually acquired by Google. Joining with 3D printing experts from 3D Systems-aquired Geomagic, Source3 was formed to bring scalable and customizable rights management to the world of 3D printing. With this round of funding, the startup will continue their product development and expand their customer base.
Of the investment round, Bob Greene, General Partner of Contour Venture Partners, said, “Source3 is developing the processes and technologies necessary to unlock the availability and monetization of 3D content in the 3D ecosystem. The team has collectively realized more than $1B worth of licensed intellectual property during their careers. They have the experience and insight to make Source3 a huge success. We are thrilled to be investing in Source3 and to be joined by our investment syndicate partners.”
Patrick Sullivan, CEO and co-founder of Source3, adds, “New 3D capture and manufacturing technologies are rapidly reshaping the way content owners must approach the market. These profound changes represent both a huge opportunity as well as a growing threat to existing routes to market. I am excited to be working on the solution here at Source3.”
Though the exact amount invested by Autodesk was not disclosed, Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager of Consumer and 3D Printing for Autodesk, was enthusiastic about the company’s contribution, saying, “The Spark Investment Fund advances 3D printing by uncovering innovative companies in all areas of the ecosystem. We’re excited to be part of Source3’s growth as their platform provides a unique and necessary approach to aggregating, licensing and distributing 3D content.”
Source3 still hasn’t officially launched and its only customer publicized so far has been Capcom, but the investment of $4 million suggests that, when the licensing platform does go public, they may already have a number of big clients lined up. Who they may be could turn out to be a big surprise. If that’s the case, Souce3’s official launch could be a launch for the licensed 3D printables market as a whole.