Based in Munich AM Ventures We closed a $ 100 million fund specifically focused on the early growth stages of industrial and commercial 3D printing applications. By investing internationally, the company has moved from a de facto family office to a multi-LPVC company.
To date, the company’s portfolio spans 18 companies on three continents.It lists Headmade material, Light Force correction When Conflux technology Among some of its marquee investments. The photo at the top of this article is Skrona. The company has funded $ 9.5 million in ultra-high resolution 3D printing companies that can print fine enough to support the manufacture of semiconductors and displays.
“The laminate industry has shown steady and strong growth over the last decade, during which start-ups have played a key role,” said Arno Held, co-founder and managing partner of AMVentures, in a statement. .. “Startups continue to be important in delivering the innovations needed to ultimately bring the digital world to the real world, producing manufactured products in a sustainable way, strengthening the supply chain and tackling climate change. I’m sure it will help you. “
The fund’s LP includes the founders of existing portfolio startups, as well as family offices, asset managers, businesses and small businesses.
“The fact that the founders of portfolio companies are currently investing in our funds is a great testament to our extraordinary efforts. AMV Entures co-founder and managing partner Johann Oberhofer told TechCrunch.
I talked to Arno to find out what’s happening in the world of 3D printing. Quotation marks have been shortened and clarified for readability.
TechCrunch (TC): 3D printing seems a bit niche — why focus your entire venture capital on the industry?
Arno held (AH): EWhen we introduce AM Ventures, we say we are educational engineers, passionate entrepreneurs, and accidental venture capitalists. Somehow we just got to VC. We come from the field of engineering or industrial 3D printing. We were founded by me and Johann Oberhofer. We two have been working in this 3D printing industry for at least 20 years. I am a newcomer to this business for only 15 years.Johann co-founded EOS,that too Today, it is still the world leader in 3D printing machines. Around 2012, there was a shortage of VC investors when we started. [were] We are ready to invest in hardware technology, especially 3D printing, very early on. It was still new to the mainstream, or at least new.
Today we are a team of 10 people. We made our first investment in January 2015. With 18 investments in 6 countries on 3 continents, we are proud that almost all of our portfolio companies are still here today. Today, we are a venture capital firm focused on technology that can provide a huge ecosystem. We only invest in 3 engineers and early startups that are PowerPoint decks. We turn them into companies, and if a new investment can provide value to an existing portfolio, and if our portfolio can provide synergies to a new company and a new team, we invest in the company.
TC: The first fund was just under $ 15 million, but we raised a second fund. What do you want to invest in?
AH: The first fund we went to was started more or less as a family office or as a single LP fund as needed. This is the second fund, but the first “appropriate” VC fund with a real fund structure.
There are four categories that are being scouted. They are hardware, software, materials, and applications. The most attractive at the moment are applications. Everyone develops hardware, machines and materials, what do you want to do? After all, it’s about printing parts. Building a manufacturing industry. And manufacturing means making heat exchangers that are much more efficient than other traditional heat exchangers. This means a 3D printed electric motor that can operate much farther with the same battery charge compared to traditional electric motors. This means a filter that supports climate technology, enables decarbonization, or fights global warming. These are applications where 3D printing is the greatest weapon in the fight against climate change.
TC: And are you investing primarily in European-based industrial startups?
AH: As a technology-focused fund, we are looking for 3D printing startups everywhere. I don’t think we can afford to limit ourselves locally — we need to find the best startups globally.
We don’t just look at start-ups in the industry. There are companies that come from the education and desktop fields that we value. From time to time, we find that they have great potential on the industrial side. We invest in industrial spaces or industry-oriented companies. We would like to use this manufacturing technology to enable mass production of large quantities of products. This can only be done in industrial applications.
TC: Do you tend to lead the round?
AH: Of course. We also do syndicated transactions and co-investments, but most of the investments are leading and have won board seats. In some countries it is difficult (actually it depends on the governance system of a particular country), but we want to get involved.
TC: What industry are you most excited about right now?
AH: I’m very excited about the heat exchanger of the electric motor. We have a company that excites us very much: Additive drive It is a startup from Germany. We have developed a very special 3D printed stator (a component of an electric motor). By using 3D printing technology, you can reduce the weight, reduce the consumption of materials and, as a result, reduce the volume of such electric motors. This motor can greatly extend the range of a runway or vehicle with the same battery charge. Today, cars are equipped with about 80 electric motors. The amount of material and weight that can be saved by 3D printing these components provides an impressive efficiency improvement across the vehicle.
Another example is Spectroplast, This is a 3D printed silicone for surgery and all kinds of health care applications. This is great because a very large company with hundreds of R & D engineers has failed to make industrial silicone work with laminated molding technology. This team of researchers in Zurich somehow cracked the code and are now really, really good at it.