3D printing company SOLS Systems raises $6.4 mln

SOLS Systems, a maker of 3D printing technology focused on orthotics, has announced it has raised a $6.4 million round of funding led by Lux Capital. Also participating in the Series A round is new investor Founders Fund as well as existing investors RRE Ventures, Rothenberg Ventures, Felicis Ventures, FundersGuild and Grape Arbor VC. The New York-based company has now raised just over $8.1 million in total funding since it was launched in 2013. SOLS is headed by founder and CEO Kegan Schouwenburg, who was previously director of industrial engineering at Shapeways, another Lux Capital-backed 3D printing company.

PRESS RELEASE

SOLS SYSTEMS RAISES $6.4M TO ACCELERATE MASS CUSTOMIZATION TECHNOLOGY

April 22, 2014 — SOLS Systems, an industry leader in the 3D printing space and a pioneer of custom mass-manufacturing technology, announced the close of a $6.4 million Series A funding led by Lux Capital, with Founders Fund joining the team as a major investor and participation from existing investors RRE, Rothenberg Ventures, Felicis Ventures, FundersGuild, and Grape Arbor VC.

SOLS Systems strives to bridge the digital and physical worlds and enable customization of everyday wearables, both in and out of the medical sector. “We are focused on deep verticals where customization has the ability to truly and meaningfully impact the product category, and where it has previously been inaccessible and unaffordable for the mass market” says Kegan Schouwenburg, SOLS Founder and CEO.

The company’s first consumer-facing product is SOLS: 3D printed dynamic orthotics engineered to change the way we walk. The devices introduce a high level of digital customization into a fragmented product sector. “Insoles provide temporary comfort and little else,” says Schouwenburg. “Prescription orthotics are expensive and long overdue for innovation. SOLS builds on existing biomechanics research and combines it with material and structural innovations made possible by cutting-edge advances in computer vision and digital manufacturing.”

SOLS’ proprietary computer vision system translates still images and/or a brief video into a detailed, highly precise 3D model of the foot. When combined with information about the patient’s body, lifestyle, and medical needs, the data is used to generate a completely custom, precision-engineered orthotic.

Since closing a seed round of $1.75 million in December 2013, the SOLS team has grown to 12 members. According to Lux Capital’s Zack Schildhorn “When we first seeded SOLS, we backed a team with an ambitious goal to transform an industry and simultaneously redefine how products get made. Since then, we’ve been blown away by how quickly this passionate group has turned that vision into a reality, and we jumped at the opportunity to accelerate the company’s development.”

“We are excited to back this team as they continue to develop cutting edge technologies that improve people’s daily lives,” says Founders Fund’s Ken Howery. “SOLS has the potential to bring custom manufacturing to a number of industries that have not seen significant innovation for decades.”

Core SOLS technology is currently being beta tested with 50 launch partner podiatrists across the United States and Canada. With $8.15 million in total funding, the company plans to focus on computer vision and machine learning in order to strengthen its predictive prescription model and introduce real-time visualization. In addition, it will launch a new kind of e-commerce platform that provides an end-use product and communicates the impact of that product in the consumer’s life. “It’s no longer enough to just own an insole,” says Schouwenburg. “Customers want to understand how the insole is going to affect their energy, weight, risk of injury, and endurance. It’s our job to quantify and communicate that.”

The three pillars of SOLS Systems technology — advanced scanning, smart generation, and digital manufacturing — form the foundation of a hugely scalable platform for custom mass manufacturing. “We are redefining consumption with predictive, interactive, data-driven commerce powered by digital manufacturing,” says Schouwenburg. “We are incredibly excited about using our technology to put deeply personal and useful products in the hands of consumers.”

The Series A funding round will be used to accelerate team growth and the development of custom mass-manufacturing platforms in preparation for a direct-to-consumer launch in 2015.

ABOUT SOLS SYSTEMS
Founded in July 2013, SOLS Systems is a leader in the 3D printing space and a pioneer of custom mass-manufacturing technology focused on enabling the personalization of everyday wearables. Their first product, SOLS, brings 3D printing to footwear through dynamic orthotics engineered to change the way the world walks.

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