3D scanner firm Fuel3D bags further £4m

Expansion funding marks third investment round this year for fast-growing start-up

A start-up that has developed what it claims will be the world’s first affordable 3D scanner has raised a further £4m, paving the way for the commercial launch of its product.

Founded as a spin-out of an Oxford University project, Fuel3D has developed a handheld 3D scanner for use in 3D modelling applications and 3D printing.

The business achieved prominence when it raised around $300,000 from members of the public through a Kickstarter campaign for its device in 2013, raising £1.6m and $1.1m from private backers in subsequent funding rounds earlier this year.

The current £4m investment was led by existing VC backer Chimera Partners, and will be used to accelerate Fuel3D’s production, customer support and international retail distribution after it completes delivery of its Kickstarter and pre-order commitments.

Chimera’s funding will also be used to broaden the potential uses of the Fuel3D scanner into new markets, such as biometrics and eyewear, and grow its operations in the US market.

With the product currently in beta, a commercial launch is due in early 2015, with distributors in 23 countries already secured.

Stuart Mead, founder and CEO of Fuel3D, said: “This funding round will take Fuel3D through the full commercial launch of our scanner next year, and will allow us to invest in new talent and infrastructure, including growing our operations in the United States.

“In tandem with our consumer product development, we will also be using the funding to further develop our intellectual property so that we can capitalize on the ongoing interest we receive from international brands in applying our technology in new verticals beyond 3D printing.”

Ben Gill, a partner at Chimera and chairman of Fuel3D, added: “The initial interest shown by investors in Fuel3D has only been increased since the first funding round and we are very pleased to have been oversubscribed in this round of fundraising.

“The company continues to impress with its commitment to product development goals and has also made very significant inroads into developing new commercial applications and relationships.”

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