Nanofabrica, a startup that develops a novel optical-based technology enabling for the first time ultra-precise 3D printing, raised $4 million in a funding round which will be used towards further R&D as well as expansion of sales. To date the company raised a total of $7 million.
In recent weeks, the company has been offering to harness its ultra-precise manufacturing capabilities to support the COVID-19 efforts through an ongoing dialogue with researchers and various manufacturers. These capabilities enable fast and local manufacturing at an unprecedented resolution which has not been possible until today.
Nanofabrica was founded in 2016 by Jon Donner, CEO, who holds a PhD in nano optics and Eyal Shelef, CTO, who previously led material development at HP-Indigo. Nanofabrica, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, develops and sells ultra-precise 3D printers. Nanofabrica’s breakthrough technology enables printing at a speed and accuracy that has hitherto not been possible, opening new possibilities and markets for digital manufacturing.
M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, together with NextLeap Ventures, led the $4 million round. Alpha Capital joined the investment round. M12 had been attuned to Nanofabrica’s progress due to their partnership with i3 Equity Partners, an early stage VC that led the previous investment round in Nanofabrica in 2018, together with Moshe Nur, a leader in digital printing industry and Dr. Rafi Gidron, a serial technology entrepreneur and founder of Chromatis (which was sold to Lucent). The company has numerous customers from different industries and has worked with over ten Fortune 500 companies.
"There is a global trend of miniaturization. In the electronics world this is depicted by Moore's law, but the miniaturization of ‘things’ is limited by existing manufacturing technologies. In parallel, Additive Manufacturing (AM or 3D printing) is becoming more central in many different markets. At Nanofabrica we harness the strength of AM for precision high-performance applications, bringing AM into new markets that require the next level of miniaturization, such as: electronics, semiconductors, optics and more.” says CEO Jon Donner.
“Nanoscale, precision manufacturing is a growing need for R&D organizations, as well as production-scale manufacturing companies,” said M12 Partner Matthew Goldstein. “Nanofabrica has focused on serviceability and robustness to best serve their customers and enable digital mass manufacturing of precision parts.”
“At Intel, we worked for many years in an industry that manufactures precise parts by subtractive technologies. For this reason, we understand the strategic breakthrough that Nanofabrica brings with the ability of precision additive manufacturing. We believe in the leadership of the company, and are delighted to be among their investors,” said Ido Lapidot, Partner at NextLeap Ventures.
"I am convinced that Nanofabrica will make a dramatic change in the precision manufacturing market and enable a revolution that this market has been waiting for,” said Eran Wagner, Managing Partner at i3 Equity Partners. “i3 takes great pride in investing in the most innovative technologies in Israel, and Nanofabrica is amongst the most groundbreaking companies that we’ve seen in the country. Finally, I am excited to continue working with the professional and great team of Nanofabrica to maximize the company’s potential.”
The company has decided to focus on one main application of printed molds for injection molding. “We offer our customers a possibility to reduce waiting time from months to days and reduce costs by a factor of X100, a game changer in the huge market of injection molding” explains Eyal Shelef, co-founder and CTO. “COVID-19 has shown industry the need of local and fast manufacturing, something that our 3D printers enable.”
"We believe that our unique technology could help to fight COVID-19. We are in a process with researchers and manufacturers of finding specific applications that could profit from our unique capabilities. We are currently exploring the possibility to print complex filters, as well as molds for injection and microfluidic testing chips,” explained Tovit Neizer, Nanofabrica VP, Business Development.