Here is our Q1 2019 summary report on the 3D printing startup sector. The following report includes a sector overview and recent activity.
This blog post examines the different components of the 3D printing ecosystem. We will illustrate what the categories of innovation are and which categories have the most companies. We will also compare the categories in terms of their funding and maturity.
3D Printer Manufacturers Is The Largest 3D Printing Category
Let’s start off by looking at the Sector Map. We have classified 387 3D printing startups into 9 categories. They have raised $3B from 412 investors. The Sector Map highlights the number of companies in each category. It also shows a random sampling of companies in each category.
We see that 3D Printer Manufacturers is the largest category with 119 companies. These companies manufacture 3D printers and the accompanying hardware, such as injection heads. Some example companies include Carbon, Desktop Metal, 3D Systems, and Markforged.
Let’s now look at our Innovation Quadrant to find out the funding and maturity of these categories in relation to one another.
The Pioneers Quadrant Has the Most 3D Printing Categories
Our Innovation Quadrant divides the 3D printing categories into four different quadrants.
We see that the Pioneers quadrant has the most number of 3D printing categories at 5, accounting for 56% of all 3D printing categories. The 3D Scanners category has the highest average age and the highest average funding. On the other hand, the 3D Printing Networks and 3D Printing Marketplaces categories are low on both average funding and age.
As we’ve previously seen, funding into the 3D Printing sector demonstrated robust growth in recent years. Now we are going one level deeper on our 3D Printing research platform to examine its funding by round. From our analysis we can conclude that the 3D Printing sector is maturing.
This conclusion comes from two takeaways:
- While funding amounts in all rounds grew, later stage saw the largest increase
- Funding counts also increased in the later stage
We’ll explain these takeaways with some graphics that show 3D Printing funding activity by round.
To help set the stage, the graphic below illustrates 3D Printing funding amount over time. As you can see, the sector’s overall funding saw strong growth in recent years.
3D Printing Funding Amounts Saw Largest Growth in Later Stage
We’ll start off by examining the annual 3D Printing funding amounts by round.
While the funding amounts in all rounds rose, Series C and Series D saw the largest increase. Specifically, Series C funding amounts increased by $135M and Series D increased by $315M from 2012 to 2017.
We’ll now look at the 3D Printing funding amount by round as a percentage of the total, which shows changes independent of the total size.
The above graph supports our previous observation that later stage funding amounts saw the largest growth from 2012 to 2017. In 2012, Seed, Series A, and Series B events accounted for over 85% of funding. By 2017, there was a complete shift, with Series D events accounting for over 50%. Seed, Series A, and Series B funding amount percentages also dropped significantly in 2017.
So we see that the funding amounts graphs indicate a shift from early stage to later stage from 2012 to 2017. Would the funding event count graphs show the same trend? Let’s examine them in the next section to find out.
3D Printing Funding Counts Shifting to Later Stage
Let’s now look at the annual 3D Printing funding event counts. The below graph shows the 3D Printing funding counts by round as a percentage.
This graph corresponds with the last graph in showing that the funding counts in the later stage saw increases from 2012 to 2017. Specifically, Series C funding counts grew to 20% and Series D grew to 8%. On the other hand, the funding counts in Seed and Series B both decreased.
Combining these two graphics, we can see that 3D Printing funding counts shifted from the Seed stage to the later stage from 2012 to 2017.
Conclusion: The 3D Printing Sector Is Maturing
In conclusion, we have seen that 3D Printing funding amounts saw the largest increase in later stage events. 3D Printing funding counts also grew in the later stage and dropped in the Seed stage. These observations led us to conclude that the 3D Printing sector is maturing. While funding counts decreased recently, investors are putting larger funding into well-established companies.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section below.
Here is our Q1 2018 summary report on the 3D Printing startup sector. The following report includes an overview, recent activity, and a category deep dive.
Our sector maps are snapshots of emerging technology sectors. They show what the different categories in a sector are and how many startups are within each category. They also present a small sampling of the current startups that are innovating in each category.
We will share our most up-to-date sector maps in a two-part series. Below you will find sector maps for the Blockchain Technology, Energy Technology, Financial Technology, Health Technology, Insurance Technology, Video Technology, and 3D Printing sectors.
Blockchain Technology: 12 categories, 1007 companies, $6B in funding
Energy Technology: 12 categories, 790 companies, $63B in funding
Financial Technology: 16 categories, 2401 companies, $90B in funding
Health Technology: 22 categories, 2139 companies, $64B in funding
Insurance Technology: 14 categories, 1503 companies, $22B in funding
Video Technology: 11 categories, 828 companies, $35B in funding
3D Printing: 9 categories, 383 companies, $2B in funding
Stay tuned as we will release the remaining 8 updated sector maps for Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Marketing Technology, Real Estate Technology, Retail Technology, Security Technology, Transportation Technology, and Virtual Reality.