14 May Metal distributor Kloeckner invests in German large-scale 3D printers BigRep
German steel and metal distributor company Kloeckner has announced a multi-million investment in 3D printing company BigRep.
Based in Berlin, BigRep are the creators of the BigRep One. The 3D printer is regarded as the largest FDM printer on the market with a build volume of 1 cubic metre. Kloeckner is a leading distributor of metals and reported sales of €5.7 billion in fiscal 2016.
According to Yahoo Finance Kloeckner has acquired a ten percent stake in the 3D printing company “for under 10 million euros.” Thereby giving BigRep a value of close to 100 million euros, however the company has not directly disclosed a figure themselves. BigRep previously received €7 million in series B funding in 2015 and this investment from Kloeckner is part of the ongoing Series B funding round.
The acquisition is part of the German metal company’s strategy of “digitalizing the supply and value chain as well as boosting higher value-added products and services,” according to Gisbert Rühl, Chairman of the Management Board.
BigRep CEO, René Gurka, commented also on digitalization, stating that the company expects “digitalization to radically alter traditional value chains.”
Kloeckner will now work with BigRep to utilize their 3D printing technology, “in its extensive European and US site network going forward.” The company stating in the announcement that this area is expected to have an annual growth of 20% by 2020.
BigRep is familiar with working with large manufacturing companies as they explained last year during their pop up lab in Central London. The company has worked with car manufacturers BMW and aviation company Airbus in the past, with BigRep – suggesting they have big plans for this year – this investment seems like a good starting point.