OCA Ventures launches its third fund and leads $2.8 million investment in Industrial 3D Printing Company, Impossible Objects, the world’s first Industrial 3D Printer of Fiber-Reinforced Laminated Composite Parts
CHICAGO (December 12, 2014) – Today Northbrook, Illinois-based Impossible Objects announced that it has closed a $2.8 million seed financing led by OCA Ventures. The financing firmly positions Impossible Objects at the forefront of the national effort to achieve energy efficiency gains through advanced composite manufacturing technologies, as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s efforts to rebuild Chicago’s once powerful manufacturing sector and transport it to the digital age.
Impossible Objects has developed a 3D printing technology that can do what no other 3D printing solutions have done so far: print composite objects using layers of high-performance, lightweight materials like carbon fiber and aramid (aka Kevlar). Impossible Objects’ breakthrough composite-based additive manufacturing process, or “CBAM”, can produce functional parts with significantly better mechanical properties with a wide range of materials including carbon fiber, aramid, fiberglass and polyester. Because it produces high performance composites the parts have properties substantially better than existing polymer-based methods. The process can use a wide range of polymer binders including high performance materials such as PEEK. CBAM is also substantially faster than existing processes.
The company is led by an all-star team of Larry Kaplan, the former CEO of NAVTEQ (who helped lead NAVTEQ’s IPO and its sale to Nokia), Robert Swartz, a visionary in additive manufacturing, IP consultant for MIT Media Lab and successful inventor/entrepreneur, and John Bayldon, who holds a PhD in theoretical and applied mechanics from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in composites materials and engineering. CEO Kaplan added, “I am very excited about the opportunity to build an industry leading company and team around the innovative technology that Bob has conceived.”
“Today, most other 3D printing technologies are limited to producing prototypes of thermoplastics (polymers) and certain metals that are significantly inferior to parts made through traditional manufacturing methods such as injection molding, machining and die-casting. Impossible Objects enables the production of strong yet lightweight, geometrically complex end use parts using additive manufacturing technology,” shared Robert Swartz, Chairman and founder of Impossible Objects. “Impossible Objects’ technology is a game-changer for manufacturers and users in the aerospace, aviation, defense, drone, oilfield services, automotive/racing and performance athletic industries where high strength-to-weight properties are critically important. We are excited to partner with Impossible Objects and launch the new wave of industrial manufacturing,” said Ian Drury, General Partner at OCA Ventures.
Impossible Objects is partnering with thought-leading organizations in the 3D printing and additive manufacturing space, has already produced production ready end use parts for paying customers, and is well on its way to transforming industrial manufacturing.
About OCA Ventures
OCA Ventures is an early stage (Seed, Series A, and Series B) venture capital firm focused on equity investments in companies with dramatic growth potential, primarily in technology and highly scalable services businesses. OCA invests in many industries, with a preference for technology, financial services, education and healthcare technology. Founded in 1999, the firm is one of the largest venture firms in the Midwest and is now investing out of its fourth fund, expected to be $100M, in companies spread throughout the United States. Notable current investments include Cleversafe, Alert Logic (sold to Welsh Carson), Automated Insights, TradeKing, Javlin Capital, SumRidge, SpotHero, and Base CRM. Learn more at www.ocaventures.com or follow them on Twitter @ocaventures.