3D printing platform mything secures €2.1 million in pre-launch funding from KaPa Ventures

Sep 6, 2017 | By Benedict

Austrian 3D printing startup mything.com has raised €2.1 million ($2.5 million) in funding from Austrian venture capital firm KaPa Ventures. mything, based in Graz and Vienna, aims to become a competitive additive manufacturing platform, connecting customers with local manufacturers.

It’s one of additive manufacturing’s biggest selling points: the promise of a future in which environmentally harmful global shipments are brought to a minimum, with small batches of products being manufactured locally, near where they’re supposed to end up.

It could really happen too. 3D printing allows designers to create a digital version of a part or product, send it anywhere in the world, and have it 3D printed in potentially millions of places at the same time. If major manufacturers and distributors made a push to make this system work, the whole world could change.

But setting up a global 3D printing infrastructure is a big challenge, and one that requires a lot of communication and coordination. It’s a challenge that Belgian startup mything (my thing) thinks it is ready for.

With a team of 10 people and plans to launch its global 3D printing marketplace late this fall, mything is clearly in its infancy. But that hasn’t stopped Austrian venture capital firm KaPa Ventures pouring $2.5 million into the fledgling company in the hope of bringing its vision to reality.

That vision involves providing a “central, international platform for additive manufacturing products made by local manufacturers for end customers.” It’s ambitious, but both mything and, crucially, its new investor, think the startup has the right tools to make it happen.

“3D printing is on the point of entering the mass market,” said Frank Kappe, investor at KaPa Ventures. “At precisely this sweet spot the moment appears to have arrived to set up a platform that can bring all the necessary partial aspects and players in additive manufacturing together. That is the reason for our considerable investment at this early stage.”

Kappe may be right, but is mything the company to do it? Well, the company says it plans to build a central platform where designers, manufacturers, and customers can converge, simplifying the supply chain and (presumably) saving money for all parties. The platform will focus on the use of local 3D printing shops, which mything thinks will rise in number.

“Many papers by acknowledged experts confirm that in future only 3D data will be sent around the world instead of physical commodities,” explained mything co-founder Florian Mott. “Production follows the principle ‘Think globally, act locally’ and takes place in a local factory near the customer. This results in reduced costs—through on-demand production, for instance—and significantly shorter delivery times.”

This is all well and good, but what may set mything apart from other companies attempting distributed manufacturing—UPS, for example—may be its focus on a select few areas. The Belgian startup plans to start in three niche markets: jewelry, accessories, and seasonal products—areas identified as suitable because of their customizability. mything hopes this three-way focus will result in immediate market shares and visibility.

One of those target markets has already been the subjective a special mything competition called “my precious plastics,” which encourages jewelry designers to post original designs to mything. Winners will be chosen by an international jury and will receive both cash prizes and the opportunity to sell their designs through the new 3D printing platform.

mything will work with a range of materials, including plastics and metals, and will also explore the use of other manufacturing technologies like laser cutting. Final touches are being added to the platform, and designers and manufacturers being recruited.

“mything is based on additive manufacturing as a globally relevant manufacturing technology,” Mott added. “Our aim is that in future many products and commodities for daily use are purchased via our platform and are manufactured digitally and locally near the customer.”

Posted in 3D Printer Company

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