BMW i Ventures announces investment in 3D printing start-up
BMW i Ventures, the automaker's venture capital arm, has made several strategic investments in start-ups which it deemed would be instrumental in shaping future mobility. In the latest addition to its portfolio, BMW announced investing in 3D printing start-up Desktop Metal, which raised a total of $45 million in its Series C funding round. Other investors include GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Lowe's Ventures.
A bit about Desktop Metal
Desktop Metal was co-founded in October 2015 by current-CEO Rick Fulop, current-CTO Jonah Myerberg, and MIT professors Ely Sachs, Chris Schuh, John Hart, and Yet Ming Chiang. With the recently raised $45 million, the company's total funding now stands at $97 million.
What's in it for BMW?
Desktop Metal has developed an end-to-end printing system capable of printing 3D metal components, something which coincides with BMW's vision of incorporating additive manufacturing to its carmaking process. The ability to print 3D metal components is not only cost effective, but would also allow BMW to play with complex and unusual designs; quickly and cheaply produce and test prototype parts.
Ready-to-use metal components
"The printers will be able to make metal prototypes and parts that are ready to be used in production right away. New carburetor parts printed by an engineer could be immediately used on the road," said Rick Fulop.
Other interesting investments made by BMW i Ventures
BMW i Ventures investments are aimed at improving future mobility. It has invested in electric vehicle charging companies ChargeMaster and ChargePoint. In the autonomous vehicle front, it has invested in driving analytics app Zendrive, and autonomous driving tech company Nauto. Its other investments include parking finder JustPark, transit app Moovit, carpooling app Scoop, ride sharing company RideCell, and peer-to-peer car rental company Turo.