Category Archives: Companies

Voxeljet files for IPO of ADSs

voxeljet AG, a German 3D printing company known for its innovation in the development of a “continuous” 3D printing method for sand casting, has filed to be listed on the NYSE using the symbol VJET (NYSE:VJET), seeking an IPO of ADSs.  voxeljet AG is the newco with its legal predecessor of Voxeljet Technology GmbH.  In this blog I will refer to the voxeljet as Voxeljet or the Company.   The filing can be found at: http://edgar.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1582581/000104746913009124/a2216674zf-1.htm.  Pipper Jaffray and Citigroup are the underwriters, with Dechert LLP (my old firm!) and Paul Hastings LLP representing.

Voxeljet would be joining 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), Stratasys (NASDAQ:SYSS), ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE – ) Proto Labs (NASDAQ:PRLB) in the camp of publicly traded advanced manufacturing and rapid prototyping hardware and services providers, as well as Exa Corporation (NASDAQ:EXA), another manufacturing tech company which recently entered the public markets.   I previously blogged about Proto Labs’ IPO here: http://3dsolver.com/proto-labs-sets-range-for-ipo-manufacturing-is-exciting/ and Exa’s IPO here: http://3dsolver.com/congratulations-to-exa-corporation-another-engineering-tech-oriented-company-goes/.  ExOne, about a week ago, completed a follow-on offering of shares where they raised approximately another $65M (and with roughly an additional $100M going to selling shareholders outside of the Company, e.g. investors who held shares prior to the original IPO), see: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1561627/000119312513366634/d594456dex991.htm.

Voxeljet provides large-format, powder binding based, 3D printers to the market.  They claim to have the largest build volume and the only continuous 3D printer currently available today – from their filing:

We believe that our recent innovations in 3D printers will continue to increase customer adoption of our additive manufacturing technology in industrial and commercial applications. Recent key innovations include:

The VX4000 system, which offers a build box of 4,000 × 2,000 × 1,000 millimeters, representing a volume that is more than six times the volume of the next largest commercially available 3D printer. The VX4000 prints at a speed of 75 seconds per layer, yielding a volumetric output rate of 123.0 liters per hour, the highest in the industry. This printer enables the user to print cost-effectively either a single, large-scale part or large quantities of customized smaller parts in a single batch. 

• The VXC800, which we believe is the only continuous build 3D printer currently on the market, has a build envelope of 850 × 500 millimeters, with the third dimension being theoretically unlimited. Unlike other additive manufacturing systems, the VXC800 utilizes a conveyer platform which permits the manufacturing of products that are not constrained by the length of a build box. We believe this process, enabled by our proprietary design, creates new opportunities in the direct digital manufacturing of parts, as this 3D printer can be integrated into our customers’ workflows in a manner that allows for uninterrupted production.

The Company differentiates itself from its competition based on: (1) build box size (e.g. volume that can be printed at one time); (2) volumetric output rate (this is a function of the build box size in two dimension times how fast layers can be created); (3) materials which can be more readily used for industrial and commercial purposes (e.g. implying more of a focus on direct part production and less on prototypes); (4) having a track record of innovation; (5) strong customer relationships and (6) an “extensive” global sales agent network.

Voxeljet #1

As of June 30th, 2013, Voxeljet claims a total installed base of 52 printers.   2012 revenues were €8.7 million up from €4.8 million in 2010, providing for a 35% CAGR and they had a back log of seven printers (representing €5.2 million) which they expected to ship before year end.

Voxeljet #2

Voxeljet #3

Compare the Voxeljet revenue picture and installed base to what ExOne disclosed when it went public in June of 2013.  See: http://edgar.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1561627/000119312513040939/d461168ds1a.htm for the ExOne third amended S1.  Interestingly, Voxeljet has averaged roughly 20% spend on R&D, which is quite high relative to their peer group (but obviously also a function of their revenues).

While the bulk are common to similar companies (e.g. current and technology risk, competitors, need to keep staff motivated, etc.), upon a quick spin of the Voxeljet filing, two things were notable to me in the disclosures.  First, was that certain employees retained rights to patents that they invented or co-invented prior to 2009 – and although those employees had subsequently assigned their patent interests to Voxeljet, there was the risk that the compensation Voxeljet provided would be deemed insufficient and as a result their operations could be impacted (e.g. because they would have to pay more to secure those rights).  Second was the interesting disclosure which I read to mean that Voxeljet has inbound licenses from both ZCorp (now part of 3D Systems) and The ExOne Company.

More details on the licenses are disclosed in the filing as follows:

Voxeljet #4

Voxeljet #5

It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to the Voxeljet offering.

It would seem that Voxeljet’s true compelling market differentiators (at least at this point, and as publicly disclosed) are: (1) the build volumes that they can support (allowing for large single part production or the more rapid production of individual parts within the volume); and (2) their “continuous” printing method (basically orienting the build on an angle, and using a moving conveyor).

On the first (build volume), I am waiting to see how/whether/if Materialise NV (www.materialise.com) chooses to test the public markets with an offering of their own.  Materialise has a full stack of software, hardware and process which would be very attractive to one of the established players – especially given Materialise’s strong concentration on medical and dental processes, as well as their development large build volume 3D printers.  Materialise has grown from a services company, and as a result, they use 3D printing hardware from many manufacturers, but also had developed their own “large format” 3D printers and use them for their own production purposes. See: http://i.materialise.com/info/faq.  I would say “watch this space” as it relates to Materialise.

On the second (continuous production), that along with speed and the use of engineered materials represents the “holy trinity” to truly move 3D printing into direct part production.  While the Voxeljet approach is interesting and novel, I am waiting to see what the market also delivers on true continuous production processes using “real” engineered materials.

Congratulations to Exa Corporation – Another Engineering Tech Oriented Company Goes

You may not have noticed in the run up to the 4th of July week, but Exa Corporation went public in late June, signaling again that engineering oriented companies can have a route to the public markets – (NASDAQ:EXA).

The mid-point IPO range was to have been $12/share, but instead Exa Corporation went public at $10/share.  Exa’s FY12 revenues were $45.9M, of which $38.7M was generated from license revenue.  Exa is trading roughly at $10/share as of this blog post, and that equates to roughly 2.8x TTMR (Trailing Twelve Month Revenues).  As of April 30th, 2012, Exa had 203 employees.  Exa was venture backed (FMR LLC, Boston Capital Ventures and InfoTech Fund I LLC).

Exa is based in Burlington, MA and provides software products and services for “simulation-driven” design.  Exa markets a suite of fluid flow, heat transfer and acoustic simulation solutions used to optimize the performance of products.   Exa works to drive simulation earlier into the design process so that engineers can more accurately predict product performance – reducing later stage design changes.

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Exa’s business model is subscription oriented (like most analysis and simulation companies) and interesting indeed.   Exa sells usage of their PowerFLOW simulation suite on an “annual capacity-based model.”  Simulation capacity can purchased to be run on the user’s own computers or it can be purchased as a SaaS application called “PowerFLOW OnDemand.”  PowerFLOW OnDemand is run out of a data center owned by IBM and located in New Jersey.  Their model is very sticky.  In 2011 their license renewal rate was 91%, and in 2012 it was 97%.

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Exa has not moved much from its IPO price.  They are most certainly suffering from the general post-Facebook fall out, but the market is also likely discounting them because while they have a great recurring revenue model, most of that revenue is concentrated within the automotive industry (which they describe as the “ground transportation market”).   Exa also disclosed that they may be subject to license payments to MIT for the use of certain patented technologies.

While Exa has a ways to go (and grow) before it is trading at a multiple close to a peer group competitor like Ansys  – it is still great to see other tech companies joining the manufacturing tech renaissance we are currently in.  For examples, see Protolabs’ recent IPO (which I blogged about here:http://www.geomagic.com/en/community/beyond-the-box/proto-labs-sets-range-for-ipo-manufacturing-is-exciting/) , the Stratasys/Objet planned merger and 3D System’s recent $107M raise via a secondary (see here: http://www.3dsystems.com/press-releases/3d-systems-announces-exercise-over-allotment-option-public-offering-common-stock)

Exa’s final updated and amended S-1 can be found here, it is a good read:http://edgar.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/890264/000119312512273272/d214313ds1a.htm

This blog was originally published on July 18th, 2012.

Proto Labs Sets Range for IPO – Manufacturing is Exciting

Yesterday [this blog was originally published on February 14th, 2002], our friends at Proto Labs, Inc. set the range for their IPO shares at between $13 – $15, and hope to raise between $56M – $65M based on selling 4.3M shares.  Assuming the mid-point of this range, they would have valuation of roughly $325M (or roughly 3.3x TTMR).  They have applied to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “PRLB”.

North Bridge (Growth Equity I, L.P) a significant investor and Board member has also indicated an interest to purchase additional shares at the IPO price.  Protomold has grown their revenues from $43.8M in 2009 to $98.9M in 2011, while remaining profitable throughout the period.   They have a substantial return customer rate, where repeat orders from existing customers have historically been around 80% of their revenues.  A majority of their revenues come from the US (74%) with the remainder coming from fifty other countries.  Proto Labs employs more than 500 people worldwide.

For those interested in learning more about their business details, you can find them in their recently amended S-1, which can be found here:http://edgar.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1443669/000119312512054357/0001193125-12-054357-index.htm.

Obviously, it is exciting news to see an American manufacturing company poised to go public.  Manufacturing most certainly is “sexy” and “investible” at the same time.  Geomagic is proud to be one player in the digital ecosystem that helps to capture/modify and make items — but at the end of the day you cannot work in a digital chair, write on a virtual table or drive home in a VR car.  It is also exciting to see a company that is about to go public highlighting the value chain and opportunities around mass-customization.

Protomold, as the name implies, concentrates on the rapid prototyping market — with a complete and fast solution from design to either CNC milling or injection molding, supporting various material types.  Proto Mold, in their S-1, describes their business as: “We are leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. We provide “Real Parts, Really Fast” to product developers worldwide, who are under increasing pressure to bring their finished products to market faster than their competition”.

A image in the Protomold S-1 illustrates their production processes very well:

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This blog was originally published on February 14th, 2012.