New business, new hires and new hardware on the way out. The young 3D printing company Wematter in Linköping is accelerating – despite the corona crisis.
Wematter has made itself known for a proprietary laser-powered 3D printer that produces prints that are durable enough to be an alternative to injection molded plastic parts.
Husqvarna on the customer list
The innovation gave the company a place on Ny Teknik’s 33 list in 2016, and last year Wematter began its commercial production of the 3D printer Gravity. The first customer to have a printer delivered was Husqvarna, which took place in December 2019.
As with many other startups, the corona year 2020 has been tough for Wematter. Despite this, the company has signed millions of deals with three new customers. One of these is the Finnish engineering and consulting company Etteplan, which now has a Gravity Writer at its Linköping office.
– It is of course very fun that such a large and well-known supplier as Etteplan chooses us. 2020 has been upside-down for us, but we have hired seven people, including in sales. With the new deals, we see that this investment has paid off, says Robert Kniola, founder and CEO of Wematter.
Releases updated printer
Etteplan and the other two new, so far unnamed, customers will be the first with Wematters updated 3D printers, Gravity 2021. The new machine has, among other things, received a new, reinforced recoater mechanism and a sharper heat control, which improves the print quality.
– By encapsulating the recoater, wear on moving parts during operation is reduced. This means that the machine does not need to be serviced more often than every three months. The new thermal design makes the heat distribution more even, which gives the prints a more homogeneous surface finish.
Chasing new investors
To gear up the business for 2021, Wematter is looking for more money. The company has just started a new investment round, with the goal of raising SEK 30 to 36 million. Raising capital during an ongoing pandemic is a challenge, but Wematter’s CEO Robert Kniola is optimistic.
– Our existing investors have already joined, and we expect to close the round in January. It is noticeable that corona has made investors more picky. You are looking for more mature startups, but once you find the right company, you are prepared to invest a lot of money. Ideally, we want to find an investor with an industrial focus, it would help us take the next step, he says.
Do: 3D printer system with proprietary hardware and cloud-based software.
Start year: 2014.
Number of employees: 21.
Customers: Husqvarna, Etteplan and more. Also sells prints “on demand” to customers such as Volvo, Karolinska University Hospital and Sectra.
Year on the 33 list: 2016.
Wematter’s business operations stand on two legs: customers rent such as Husqvarna and now also Etteplan 3D printers that are exhibited on site at the companies, and customers can order prints from a web platform which are then printed in 3D with machines at the startup company’s Linköping office.
Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by www.nyteknik.se.
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