Stratasys, a firm that develops 3D printing systems for industrial and consumer applications, announced earlier this week that it has bought MakerBot, the market leader in desktop 3D printing, for $403 million worth of stock. Stratasys will operate MakerBot as a separate subsidiary, and intends to use the acquisition to drive adoption of 3D printers.
Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), the leader in 3D printing and additive manufacturing, and MakerBot, the leader in desktop 3D printing, today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement whereby privately held MakerBot has agreed to merge with a subsidiary of Stratasys in a stock-for-stock transaction. MakerBot, founded in 2009, helped develop the desktop 3D printing market and has built the largest installed base of 3D printers in the category by making 3D printers highly accessible. The company has sold more than 22,000 3D printers since 2009. In the last nine months, the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer accounted for 11,000 of those sales.
The combination of these two industry leaders is expected to drive faster adoption of 3D printing for multiple applications and industries, as desktop 3D printers are becoming a mainstream tool across many market segments. Upon completion of the transaction, MakerBot will operate as a separate subsidiary of Stratasys, maintaining its own identity, products and go-to-market strategy. The merger enhances Stratasys' leadership position in the rapidly growing 3D printer market, by enabling Stratasys to offer affordable desktop 3D printers together with a seamless user experience. The merger is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2013; and it is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions customary for such transactions.
The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem drives the accessibility and rapid adoption of their desktop 3D printers. It includes Thingiverse.com, the largest collection of downloadable digital designs for making physical objects, and which is empowered by a growing community of makers and creators. The MakerBot 3D Ecosystem also includes MakerWare software, MakerCare service, MakerBot Filament, the MakerBot Retail Store, the MakerBot 3D Photo Booth, and strategic partnerships with Autodesk, Adafruit, Nokia, OUYA, MoMA and Amazon. MakerBot recently announced it will further extend its 3D Ecosystem with the MakerBot Digitizer desktop 3D scanner.
MakerBot's products are increasingly used by prosumers, including engineers, designers, architects, manufacturers, entrepreneurs and individuals, for professional purposes, as well as for personal applications. Bre Pettis, CEO and co-founder of MakerBot, will continue to lead the company. Pettis is a leader in the 3D printing industry, with a mission to drive further adoption of the company's products.
"MakerBot's 3D printers are rapidly being adopted by CAD-trained designers and engineers," said David Reis, Stratasys CEO. "Bre Pettis and his team at MakerBot have built the strongest brand in the desktop 3D printer category by delivering an exceptional user experience. MakerBot has impressive products, and we believe that the company's strategy of making 3D printing accessible and affordable will continue to drive adoption. I am looking forward to working with Bre," added Reis.
"The last couple of years have been incredibly inspiring and exciting for us," noted Pettis. "We have an aggressive model for growth, and partnering with Stratasys will allow us to supercharge our mission to empower individuals to make things using a MakerBot, and allow us to bring 3D technology to more people. I am excited about the opportunities this combination will bring to our current and future customers."