Amid global uncertainty, the funding for China’s 3D Printing Sector is increasing.

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The Changing Landscape of AM Startup Funding in China

As the world begins to slowly recover from the impact of COVID-19, we are witnessing a shift in market liquidity and a more volatile financial climate. Excessive currency issuance during the pandemic, coupled with a rise in SPAC mergers and listings, has led to this instability. And while this affects all sectors, the additive manufacturing (AM) industry is particularly feeling the effects, especially for companies that have yet to turn a profit.

The current economic downturn has put pressure on investors to either exit their portfolio companies quickly or push them to generate cash faster. However, there is hope for a rebound in the future, as this downturn is believed to be cyclical. Nonetheless, the timing of this recovery remains uncertain due to the challenging macro environment.

Unfortunately, the AM sector is struggling to grow amidst these tough times. Investment deals for 3D printing startups have decreased significantly, following a global trend of reduced funding. In fact, according to Vanesa Listek’s article, “AM Funding Has Fallen to Pre-Pandemic Levels,” global AM funding has plummeted by a staggering 79% in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, as reported by 3DPrint.com.

However, amidst this globally observed trend, an astounding development is happening in China. Despite the struggles faced by the AM sector worldwide, China has witnessed sustained growth in AM funding. In 2022, China’s AM industry received a total financing of about 6.4 billion CNY ($896 million USD), marking a 33% increase from the previous year.

Several 3D printing companies in China have recently been valued at over 1 billion CNY ($140 million USD) due to a surge in financing cases exceeding 100 million CNY. This extraordinary growth can be attributed to the shift in investment focus from fields such as e-commerce and entertainment to hard technology tracks like new energy and 3D printing.

Chinese investment institutions, supported by national policies, are now actively investing in the AM sector, demonstrating their confidence through multiple IPOs. Farsoon Technologies made a highly anticipated debut on the Shanghai Stock Exchange after a successful initial public offering. Shanghai Uniontech Technology completed its IPO listing, and metal 3D printing company Xin Jinghe raised nearly 500 million CNY ($70 million USD) in a Pre-IPO round of financing.

Chinese companies are also showing their commitment to the AM sector by launching strategic fundraising initiatives. Gree Financial Holdings, in collaboration with Sina Technology, launched an 800 million CNY ($112 million USD) printing industry fund in May 2023. Similarly, Nanjixiong, a prominent AM portal in China, plans to co-establish a dedicated 3D printing industry fund with Shanghai Dunhong Asset Management Co., Ltd. Their goal is to accelerate the growth of emerging 3D printing startups in China, solidifying the country’s position as a global leader in the AM arena.

From my research on publicly announced AM investment deals in China, it is evident that the sector has experienced substantial growth this year. Up until now, Chinese ventures have secured approximately 4.7 billion CNY ($658 million USD) in funding. Based on the current pace, it is estimated that the sector could reach an annual funding of 8 billion CNY ($1.12 billion USD) this year.

Looking at the AM startup landscape in China for this year, there is a wide range of companies that have successfully closed VC funding. These startups are dedicated to advancing 3D printing technologies tailored for various industries, with some pioneering arc AM processes with multiple applications. Others are known for producing industrial-grade 3D printers, both FFF and metal-based.

Although the global AM market is facing challenges, it is encouraging to see the resilience and growth of the sector in China. With sustained funding and investments, Chinese AM startups are poised to make significant advancements, further solidifying China’s position as a global leader in the 3D printing industry.

Sources:

– Vanesa Listek’s article “AM Funding Has Fallen to Pre-Pandemic Levels”

– 3DPrint.com’s report on the global decline in AM funding

– Data from Nanjixiong, independently converted to USD

Title: The Unstoppable Rise of China’s 3D Printing Industry

Introduction:

In a world struggling with financial uncertainty and dwindling tech funding, China’s additive manufacturing (AM) sector shines as a beacon of resilience and innovation. Despite a dismal 79% decline in global AM funding, China’s AM industry continues to thrive, boasting a remarkable 33% growth in 2022 and promising prospects for 2023. This exceptional success can be attributed to a combination of strategic partnerships, ambitious plans, and a diverse and innovative ecosystem. Let’s dive deeper into China’s unstoppable rise in the 3D printing arena and understand the valuable insights it offers.

China’s Commitment to AM:

China’s unwavering commitment to AM is reflected in strategic collaborations for investment and ambitious plans by prominent companies. Notable partnerships, such as Gree Financial Holdings and Sina Technology, exemplify China’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of AM. Additionally, companies like Nanjixiong have significantly contributed to the growth of the industry. By focusing on hard technology tracks and enjoying strong national policy support, China has firmly placed itself at the forefront of AM investment opportunities.

Diversity and Innovation:

China’s AM startups showcase a vibrant and evolving ecosystem. From 3D printing hardware to specialized applications in aerospace and dental industries, the range of innovations is impressive. Hybrid 3D printing companies merging precision metal thermoforming with 3D printing, manufacturers of 3D printing feedstocks, providers of advanced AM resins, and aerospace and dental industry specialists all contribute to the dynamic landscape of China’s AM industry. This diversity fuels innovation and propels the sector forward.

Confidence Boost: IPOs and Financing:

The sustained growth of China’s AM sector is evident through multiple Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and substantial financing. These achievements solidify China’s position as a global leader in 3D printing. Despite economic challenges on a global scale, China’s unwavering growth signifies not only the resilience of its market but also offers hope for the future of technology and innovation.

Looking Forward:

The remarkable rise of China’s AM sector serves as a compelling narrative, providing valuable insights and inspiration for investors, policymakers, and industry leaders worldwide. The success story highlights the potential of strategic investment, collaboration, and innovation to drive growth even in the most challenging times. It sends a powerful message about the importance of fostering a supportive ecosystem and cultivating a forward-thinking mindset.

Conclusion:

Amidst financial volatility and a decline in tech funding worldwide, China’s AM sector stands tall, flourishing with a 33% growth in 2022. Through strategic partnerships, ambitious plans, and a diverse ecosystem, China has cemented its position as a global leader in 3D printing. The unwavering growth of the industry showcases China’s resilience and offers hope for the future of technology and innovation. This success story serves as an inspiration, reminding us of the potential of strategic investment, collaboration, and innovation to drive growth even in the most challenging times. China’s AM industry truly represents a beacon of resilience and innovation in the ever-evolving world of technology.

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