All-Star Lineup Invests in MakerBot

Posted by on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today, I’m excited to announce that MakerBot is taking $10 million in investment, with Foundry Group leading the round. Our investors are really invested–while Brad Feld and Foundry Group were getting to know us, they built their own MakerBot; you can visit Brad’s Thingiverse page to see what they’ve been printing! Foundry Group has worked with other startup companies that create hardware. We’re thrilled that they understand and support open source. This round will also include investment from Bezos Expeditions, True Ventures, RRE and many MakerBot angels (listed below). We are proud to be working with such great people and we are going to use this money do wonderful things.

To understand how we got to this point, let’s step into a MakerBotted time machine. In January of 2009, we started up the business and needed money to buy materials, make kits and then sell them. At that time, we were 3 guys, a lasercutter, and a dream. We went to our friend Jake Lodwick for $50k of seed investment. He let us take over a small corner of his office for inventory and shipping. Well, that little corner grew until we had taken over most of his office, at which point we had to move into our own space, the MakerBot Botcave.  In those early days we also got Adrian Bowyer, creator of the RepRap project, involved. He and his wife, Christine Bowyer, contributed $25k to bring us to $75k of seed money that helped start MakerBot.

With that initial $75k, we developed the first round of prototypes and put the first 20 MakerBot Cupcake CNCs into production. We sold them and bought more parts and made them into kits and sold those too. As of today, we’ve transformed that $75k into 5200 MakerBots in the wild.

In 2010, we invited some of our favorite people and teams to be MakerBot Angel investors. Shana Fisher led the angel round and the MakerBot Angels are Shana Fisher/High Line Venture Partners, Bezos Expeditions, Kal Vepuri, Steve Garfield, Jake Lodwick, Chuck and Claudia Pettis (my folks), Founder Collective, Antonio Rodriguez, True Ventures, Matt Mullenweg, Sam Lessin,  Joshua Schachter, Lerer Ventures, 500 Startups, and Thrive Capital.  This angel round investment gave us the confidence to grow!

Our seed investors, angel investors and now our venture investors are an all-star cast of awesome people and teams and we’re proud to have them involved as we explore the future of personal fabrication.

What’s going to change? Brad Feld of Foundry Group will be joining our board and we’re hiring to grow the MakerBot team to democratize manufacturing and make 3D printing more accessible to everyone!

Tagged with 65 comments

65 Comments so far

  • Martin Bauer
    August 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Congratulations! You rock!

  • Luis Rodriguez
    August 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    “And they are hard at work on their third generation printer.”

    This is so great for this startup! Can’t wait to see what’s next!

  • Jeff Barr
    August 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Congratulations, everyone; this is a real validation of the work that you have been doing.

    The MakerBot has come such a long way since your early demonstrations in Seattle. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  • Thaed
    August 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Congratulations! It’s like witnessing the pc revolution all over again.

  • Mark Durbin
    August 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm


  • Derek Quenneville
    August 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Wow, that’s great!

  • Peter
    August 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Fantastic news, well deserved

  • sarah washburn
    August 23, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    super exciting news on top of your other excitement, bre! you do great work and it’s wonderful to see that others think so, too.

  • Charlie Pettis
    August 23, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Congratulations Bre & ALL! Your Grandfather is PROUD of YOU!!

  • bre
    August 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks everyone! Thanks Grandpa! Full speed ahead!

  • Duane Johnson
    August 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Such an awesome beginning. I can’t wait to see what you (and all of us makers, tinkerers) do next!

  • Adam
    August 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Awesome work guys. The MakerBot is so much fun

  • Jason Blanck
    August 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Awesome news! Congrats to the MakerBot team.

  • tamberg
    August 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    Congrats! Bezos and Brad Feld. Crazy…

  • haqnmaq
    August 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Congrats!!! Cant wait to see what new things you will produce in the future!

  • Kai Backman
    August 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Congrats everyone, this is great great news for the team! 🙂

  • Rhys Jones
    August 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Wow excellent news. Congrats guys!

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  • Constantin
    August 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Congratulations Bre!
    Hope to see you back in Vienna sometime! 🙂

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  • Morgan Pettis
    August 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Great News! Very proud of my genius brother. Now its time to start printing money!!!

  • Duann
    August 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    That is a whole lot of awesomeness….


  • MauiJerry
    August 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Fantastic!!! $10mil? wow. I cant wait to see what you folks create with that!! NYC MakerFaire should be an awesome preview. Wish I could make it.

    It is particularly cool to see Bre’s grandfather (@Charlie Pettis) commenting. I’m sure rest of families are also quite proud… and some might even understand what it is you are doing.

    hey, how about a Maui Make-in week for bot owners? It would make a nice vacation for families and we could share lots of making!

  • Steve White
    August 23, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Congratulations. I’ve been following you guys through Makezine and am looking forward to what’s to come. As you look to branch out, consider Asheville, NC as a satellite office – Maybe some space right next to Moog.

  • Ben
    August 24, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Of course, but weeks after I order a ToM, they get a huge cash infusion and word pops up of work on a next generation one 🙁 . Oh well…

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  • Lara S.
    August 24, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Wow, holy cow! Congratulations, Bre!

    Fire The Lazzzzzor!!! Seems like I was just there and you were walking in from the snow with an arm-full of wood to cut up #2 or #3. When I make it back to NY & if I have to be in the city for a while, I am going to come see if you’re hiring!

  • =ml=
    August 24, 2011 at 4:41 am

    Congrats Team MakerBot!!!

    Well deserved!

  • Brendan Dawes
    August 24, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Fantastic news – so well deserved. Thanks to Makerbot I have science fiction in my home.

  • Raymond
    August 24, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Wow, Bre. This is great news for you and the team. Congratulations! 🙂

  • Hassan
    August 24, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Very cool and congrats

  • Ann Marie Shillito
    August 24, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Great news, warm best wishes and congratulations to you all at Makerbot. This is another fantastic leap forward for personal 3D printing. I do have a request. Please use a good percentage of the investment to develop ‘bots for easy, straightforward use. There are many of us who love 3D printing but are not into building printers, with many more who want to print the models they themselves could create with easier to use softwae than CAD! Be good to talk to MAkerBot about our haptic easy to use 3D modelling software as a perfect combination My motto – usability, usabiity, usability.

  • Joseph Rueter
    August 24, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Very exciting. My bot is two weeks old. I am stoked. This is great news.

  • John Foster
    August 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Congratulations, guys! So glad I bought one of your bots!

  • Johan Sosa
    August 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Congratulations, BUT don’t blow the $10 million. Think of what was done when you didn’t have the financing would the $10 million allow you to develop something measurably an order of magnitude or two orders of magnitude better?

  • Dale Doughery
    August 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Congratulations to Bre and the whole Makerbot team from everyone at Make.

  • erickphd
    August 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Nice! Any hints about what the Gen 3 machine will be like, or is it all “top secret?”

  • danielpublic
    August 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Fantastic to say the least!! Go OSHW go!!!

  • sayway
    August 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    WO! Congratulations papa bre!

  • tetnum
    August 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    awesome will you be using the additional capital to buy down manufacturing costs, making Makerbots more accessible to the masses?

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  • Jasony
    August 24, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    I’ve been dutifully saving $50 every month toward an eventual Maker Bot, and really hope that version 3 will be out by the time I hit the magic number (Christmas 2012). Thanks, Bre, and everyone at MakerBot industries for being a pioneer in this incredible field.

    If I could make a suggestion? The hardware part is neat-o, and doubtless can stand some tweaks for the next rev, but what really scares this semi-power-computer-user away is the software side. That really needs some serious rework to make it more friendly.

    Here’s to your success!

  • Matt Melnick
    August 24, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Congratulations, Bre!

  • Matthew Cline
    August 26, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Saw you guys at MF San Mateo. Loved the podcasts that Bre used to do. So happy to see the maker community starting to grow into homegrown businesses. Its companies like yours who will save the American economy.

  • Justin Mauger
    August 27, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Hey, hey, way to go Bre!

  • Alice
    August 28, 2011 at 6:43 am

    This is brilliant news. I’m so happy for you all.

    Can’t wait to see what you build with it 🙂


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  • Richard Nash
    August 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You’re an inspiration, man, an real inspiration. Thanks for being such a beacon…

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  • Frank Nowak
    February 18, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I’m very intrigued by your company. Are you taking on any new investors at this time?

    Frank Nowak

  • Frank Moding
    March 30, 2013 at 1:40 am

    I have the same question as Frank Nowak! 🙂


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