Desktop 3D printing companies MakerBot and Ultimaker this morningannounced plans to merge. The new unified company will be supported by NPM Capital and MakerBot owner Stratasys, and will be led by current CEOs Nadav Goshen and Jurgen von Hollen. Existing offices will also be retained in both Brooklyn and the Netherlands.
Both firms experienced a wave of interest in additive manufacturing a decade and a half ago, becoming two of the most prominent players in desktop 3D printing. However, the last few years have been less favorable for this category. As a consumer technology, it has been difficult for it to expand far beyond a fairly niche market for hobbyists.
Both sides are bullish on today’s announcement, which is backed by an additional $62.4 million investment. The money will go towards research and development and market expansion. Ultimately, however, the combined company will have to tackle the same “why” question that plagues much of the market outside of some advanced industrial applications for additive manufacturing.
“Technological innovation is paramount to expand the availability of easy-to-use professional 3D printing solutions,” MakerBot CEO Nadav Goshen said in a press release. “By bringing our teams together and leveraging additional funding, we can accelerate the development of advanced solutions to provide our customers with a broad portfolio of hardware and software solutions to serve a wide range of customers and applications.”
It is likely that the transaction will include the optimization of part of the combined company’s portfolio. The co-directors of the company will hold a call later today that will hopefully answer some of the most pressing questions (which we will fill out as appropriate).
Pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the second or third quarter.
Credit: techcrunch.com /