3D Systems knows a good business when it sees it. In the past, it might have flat-out acquired it, but acquisitions may not make the best financial sense at the moment. So, 3D Systems has entered into a commercial agreement with ZVerse, a company that has been gaining a lot of traction with the ability to convert 2D images into 3D printable objects using their own LAYR software and 3D Systems’ full-color ProJet systems.
ZVerse has steadily gained ground with its sports memorabilia business, earning more than $1 million in revenues, eventually gaining the eye of Source3, whose founders have previously worked for Google and 3D Systems. Together with Source3, ZVerse 3D printed the cover for the long awaited Capcom title Street Fighter V and the partners have plans for other games in the future.
This deal will see the two “co-develop ZVerse’s patent pending post processing technology for creating high gloss and moisture resistant full color 3D printed products”, as well as work together on combining 3D Systems’ 3DMe portrait booth with Zverse’s licensed content and distribution channels. It’s possible that the two partners met at Comic-Con in San Diego recently, where both companies had both products on show. While Source3 showed off its 3D printed Capcom cover, 3D Systems was there in full force, allowing passersby to purchase licensed 3D printed content, as well as create custom mini mes with licensed content from such franchises as Star Wars and Star Trek. This deal, then, might see 3D Systems expand their 3DMe booth options to include sports teams. Possibly Capcom characters?
Rajeev Kulkarni, Chief Product Officer at 3D Systems, says of the deal, “We are pleased to partner with ZVerse, combining our technology and engineering expertise with their deep experience in application development and content creation to advance full color 3D printing. We are excited to leverage their process know-how and expansive distribution network to expand content and coverage for our Photobooth technology.”
Based on Davide’s interview with ZVerse co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Maloney, it sounds as though the company has developed great products, but also great partnerships and a solid business plan. Additional news definitely verifies that, as the company has closed a $3.5 million Series A funding round from Mosley Ventures, Capital A Partners, and other strategic investors. The deal sees Wei-Chun Tai, of Mosley Ventures, hop on the ZVerse board. The funding will help the company further fuel their 3D printing of licensed content and commercialize their LAYR platform, which converts 2D images into 3D printable models. Wei-Chun Tai says, “The ZVerse software platform is core to unlocking 2D image content for 3D printing. We believe ZVerse is uniquely positioned to help solve 3D printing’s content problem as the 3D printing market trends towards exponential growth.”
John Carrington, ZVerse Co-Founder & CEO, discusses the news, “The strategic relationship with 3D Systems and the completion of our Series A funding gives ZVerse the resources and expertise to continue our leadership position in the full color 3D printed content arena.” He adds, “Additionally, we are seeing strong inbound demand for our underlying 3D content creation and management platform for 3D printing, LAYR. We look forward to exploring this opportunity as well as our direct-to-consumer model with major brands.”
It looks as though ZVerse has gone from 3D printing full-color sports memorabilia made from 2D images to becoming an increasingly important player in the 3D printing industry. This is particularly relevant as the licensed content space begins to take off, already populated with companies like Launzer, Sandboxr, Things3D, TurboSquid, and more.