3D Printing

Update: MyMiniFactory Hits Equity Crowdfunding Goal with £500K

The first European crowdfunding campaign for equity in a 3D printing company has just launched and it’s already more than 60% past its £500,000 goal.  MyMiniFactory, the 3D printables wing of 3D printing retailer iMakr, is well on its way to a successful public offering, on crowdfunding equity site, Seedrs thanks in no small part one huge investor, OTT Properties.

my mini factory 3D printing timeline

With a pre-valuation of £9,439,890, the printables site has already become one of the most successful repositories for 3D printable files since it was launched in June, 2013. Starting as a small community for “guaranteed” 3D printable models, MMF has since grown to more than 80,000 registered members that put out some of the most exciting designs in the 3D printing community, partially due to the MyMiniFactory Academy, which offers 3D modeling for 3D printing training that has resulted in such exciting prints as movie props, 3D printed guitars, skateboards, and more. And, as MMF has grown, it has developed unique 3D printing contests with name brands and created a number of initiatives, like its Scan the World project, to populate its library even more. As a testament to its success, the company even partnered with the BBC in the release of the Microbit controller, to be donated to one million students across the UK.

myminifactory teams with bbc microbit for 3D printing

On the Seedrs equity crowdfunding site, investors have an opportunity to split 5% of the company, if MyMiniFactory can reach its £500,000 goal.  And they can donate as little as £10.35, with many small investors contributing £100-200 and larger investors throwing in £20k and above.  Among these larger investors is one of the firm’s newest non-executive directors, Nicholas Franchett, who is the head of retail and e-commerce at Facebook.

The largest chunk of funding so far is a £225k from OTT Properties, an investment firm chaired by Jean-Francois Ott, founder of Central and Eastern European real estate giant ORCO. CEO of OTT, Nicolas Tommasini, says of their decision to invest, “With Jean Francois Ott we have pioneered investments in real estate operations and built a portfolio of over 2 billion Euro. We’ve decided to support MyMiniFactory in their equity crowdfunding campaign not only for their ambitious vision, but also for their team and track record.” 

With the view that the market for 3D printable files will expand greatly over the next few decades, MMF will be splitting the funds across a variety of areas with 25% used to take on new talent, 30% to offer more 3D printable content, 30% for new online tools and services, and 15% for marketing.  The overall vision for the site is to do for 3D designers what sites like YouTube and Soundcloud have done for performers and musicians, creating a place where 3D designers can promote themselves and share their work and communicate with customers. And, because the company is independent of any 3D printer or software developer, it believes that it has an advantage over competitors like MakerBot-owned Thingiverse or Ultimaker-owned YouMagine.

And, so far, I believe they may be right.  Via MMF, I already know the names of several 3D modelers based on their truly one-of-a-kind designs and their contests are like no others in the 3D printing industry.  If I hadn’t just overdrawn my bank account, I would definitely have thrown $10 their way.  If you feel the same way, head over to their Seedrs campaign and own a part of 3D printing’s future.

Update 9/17/2015:

Only sixteen days after launching its Seedrs campaign, My Mini Factory has hit the £500k goal. In the process, the company took on investors large in name, like head of retail and e-commerce for Facebook Nicholas Franchet and serial CFO Colin Nunn, and in funding amount, like OTT properties.  Most recently, MMF took Olivier Chatin onto their board of directors.  Chatin acts as Managing Director and Partner at restructuring firm Alvarez and Marsal, where he also works as interim leader during the restructuring of given projects.  Previously, Chatin was the COO of BearingPoint and, before that, he was the CEO of BearPoint France, which was once Olivier’s own Andersen Business Consulting.

myminifactory succeeds on Seedrs

Chatin said of his joining the board, “I see the MyMiniFactory platform as defining the future of manufacturing: decentralised, designer lead and people curated. I’m excited to be part of this adventure at its infancy by joining My Mini Factory’s board of directors.” MMF Founder and Executive Chairman Sylvain Preumont added, “I’m proud to welcome Olivier to our board as he has such a broad yet in depth knowledge of industries all over Europe, in so many different sectors. We will no doubt benefit from Olivier’s 30+ years of strategic thinking, best practices and exceeding expectations!”

While the Seedrs campaign remains open for more investments, the MMF team will now embark on expanding its 3D printing community with goal of, in MMF’s words, “become the world’s undisputed YouTube of 3D printing.”