Caracol, an Italian additive manufacturing (AM) company specializing in large format platforms, announced that it has closed its Series A financing round, in which it attracted €10.6 million (about $11.34 million) in new investments. Along with continued development of Caracol’s flagship Heron AM system, the funds will go towards Caracol’s international expansion, centered around two new corporate offices in North America and the Middle East.
Officially launched in September, 2022, the Heron AM leverages the combination of a robotic arm system produced by leading German robotics manufacturer KUKA, and a patented extrusion head for 3D printing composites. This sort of process has rapidly gained traction with customers in heavy industry, amid the general process of AM’s increasing deployment for production of larger and larger parts. With realistic potential for growth on the near-term horizon, then, Caracol also plans to use its latest investments to triple its workforce, currently totaling about 40 employees, by the end of 2024.
In a press release about closing its Series A round of financing, the CEO and co-founder of Caracol, Francesco DeStefano, commented, “This round is the crowning achievement in our journey of tremendous growth, that has led prominent companies in sectors such as Aerospace and Marine to validate our technology. Thanks to the trust bestowed by major Italian funds and the great support received by our advisors, coordinated by Growth Capital, we’ll now have the possibility to accelerate the presence of our solutions in global markets…” Stefano Peroncini, the CEO of EUREKA! Venture SGR, one of Caracol’s investors, added, “Thanks to this new important investment round we renew Eureka!’s trust in Caracol and its brilliant team, that has proved its ability in effectively implementing an ambitious technological and entrepreneurial plan, integrating and enhancing robotics and [AM], with a distinctive approach to circularity and sustainability.”
North America and the Middle East are especially promising markets at the moment for large format AM, if only because of the potential for increasing fossil fuel production in both regions over the next few years. As the fossil fuel industry looks to both decarbonize and secure supply chains, all while facing recurring labor shortages, the number of printed parts in the oil & gas supply chain is likely to skyrocket soon enough.
Moreover, that same process should be more conducive to ripple effects in other industries than just about any other similar, singular growth trajectory in the 2020s. And this is about more than fossil fuel companies facing greater pressure to diversify into renewables, although that will certainly be a boon to the adoption of systems for advanced manufacturing. In fact, the transport industry could be the greatest recipient of knock-on gains spurred by oil & gas reinvestment, and maritime could be the biggest winner of all.
In addition to general decarbonization, that is because Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is already comprehensively, and likely permanently, reshaping global oil & gas shipping routes. Consequently, most industrialized nations across the globe are going to have to commit to revamping maritime energy traffic infrastructure in record time. Thus, Caracol may have chosen a perfect time to expand its operations internationally.
Images courtesy of Caracol