Metal Additive ManufacturingMoney & Funding

HBD closes $60 Million Series A financing

Round led by Qianhai FOF, co-invested by Grand Flight Investment and CITIC Securities Investment

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Chinese metal 3D printer manufacturer HBD has closed $60 million Series A financing, the largest first-ever funding round of its kind. This round of financing was led by Qianhai FOF, co-invested by Grand Flight Investment and CITIC Securities Investment, and Winsoul Capital served as the exclusive financial advisor. HBD, headquartered in China, is a leading metal 3D printing enterprise. It has overall technical solutions for equipment, software, materials, printing processes, etc., covering aerospace, industrial, medical, and various fields, and its industry coverage and market share are at the forefront. By the end of 2021, HBD had delivered more than five hundred metal 3D printing systems in total, which were sold to over twenty countries and regions around the world, ranking among the top in sales.

The core team of HBD has nearly 20 years of experience in laser and metal additive production, of which R&D personnel account for over half of the company’s total number of people, and the R&D investment is as high as millions of US dollars every year. At present, the company has over 200 patents, including three international patents, and the number of core technology patents for metal 3D printing systems is industry-leading. In addition, as the main drafter, HBD participated in the formulation of fourteen standards such as national standards and industry standards and took part in the construction and standard formulation of China’s 3D printing evaluation system. As the first in the world, HBD pioneered the LACM – Laser Additive & Cutting Manufacturing hybrid processing technology, which solves the world-class problem of finishing the inner surface of 3D printed metal parts.

While breaking through the technical bottleneck of products, in order to ensure product quality and service quality, HBD has gradually completed the construction of automated production lines and factories. The company is considered strategic by the Shanghai Lingang New Area Government, and acquired nearly 6.5 acres of land in 2021, planning to build a new R&D and production base. The base will have a built-up area of nearly 60,000 square meters, adjacent to well-known companies such as Tesla Gigafactory 3. With the completion of this financing, HBD will continue to invest in high-tech R&D, technical team building, and high-end manufacturing.

HBD Metal 3D Printer has closed $60 million Series A financing, the largest first-ever funding round of its kind

Mr. Jianye LIU, founder and CEO of HBD, said: “Compared to the machine tool subtractive manufacturing system, as a subversive additive manufacturing system, metal 3D printing is rapidly maturing, and will become a new technology compared to traditional machine tool processing and production methods in the future. The current mainstream aerospace, industrial, medical, mold, and other fields, and other industries will also be more applied to metal 3D printing technology, giving birth to trillion-level market opportunities. With the spirit of “metal 3D printing craftsman”, HBD strives to improve the team, management, products, and services, forms a back-to-back mutual trust cooperation relationship with upstream and downstream partners, and adheres to the principle of providing core competitiveness for partners in the long term. HBD is confident that it will do better in the future. While growing rapidly, HBD will also promote the faster and better development of the entire Chinese metal 3D printing industry.”

HBD has successfully developed a total of 23 models of large, medium, and small machines. The product matrix is complete. HBD cooperates and serves thousands of customers, including CISRI, WeNext, United Imaging, Fosun, Gree, Matsui, Sunshine Laser & Technology, and other industry leaders. At the same time, HBD takes intelligence, automation, and digitalization as the starting point to provide enterprise-level integrated high-quality metal 3D printing solutions of “intelligent production line + batch manufacturing + industrial intelligent IoT”, providing customers with more efficient and more flexible new business forms of cooperation.

As a high-tech-intensive industry, the innovation and development of aerospace is a comprehensive reflection of a country’s manufacturing strength and the modernization level of the defense industry. HBD has been recognized by industry users for its outstanding laser beam quality, optimized air duct structure design, stable and reliable printing accuracy, excellent printing structure design, and process development. Multi-laser metal 3D printers such as HBD-1000 and HBD-1500 have been successfully developed and installed in batches. This large-scale equipment has solved many pain points in aerospace manufacturing and has been stably supplied to numerous top scientific research institutes and aerospace companies in batches.

HBD Metal 3D Printer has closed $60 million Series A financing, the largest first-ever funding round of its kind

Xuan XI, Executive Director of Qianhai FOF and Executive President of Smart Internet Industry Fund, said: “With the reduction of industrial chain costs and the improvement of technological maturity, metal 3D printing has gradually transformed from prototype manufacturing to mass production. More and more industries are adopting metal 3D printing applications. We are optimistic about the development of metal 3D printing in China and the world. The HBD team has been deeply involved in the industry for many years, with high technical sensitivity and practical spirit, and I believe that under the leadership of Mr. Jianye Liu, we will move towards a more brilliant future. The Qianhai Ark Fund Group is willing to continue to accompany the company, graft more industrial and political and business resources for HBD, and help the company develop more rapidly.”

Recently, a nuclear reactor heat exchanger 3D printed by HBD for a nuclear power plant caused a sensation. It changes the traditional heat exchanger from a height of exceeding ten meters to a height of merely 400mm, which not only reduces the volume and weight but also achieves an amazing order of magnitude optimization in terms of energy efficiency, production cycle, and cost. It brings new possibilities for the future aerospace and green energy industries.

Yun PEI, Executive Director of Grand Flight Investment, said: “In the deterministic track of 3D printing technology, with the gradual maturity of the previous generation of 3D printing companies mainly based on resin, nylon, and other polymer materials, we have seen the rapid rise of metal 3D printing, which is represented by selective laser melting technology. Coupled with the substantial increase in the development of metal powder, it is truly geared to large-scale industrial manufacturing. At present, the 3D printing needs especially in the specific large industries, such as aerospace, and professional large markets, industrial molds alike, are being accelerated by metal 3D printing. Among them, we believe that the development model of leading products and then leading services represented by HBD has high-value content and long-term competitiveness. Grand Flight Investment will also make full use of the strong financial + industrial background of Far East Horizon Group to help HBD accelerate its breakthrough to the next stage of development.”

HBD Metal 3D Printer has closed $60 million Series A financing, the largest first-ever funding round of its kind

In the industrial field, non-standard parts, alternative manufacturing of precision castings, and mold parts have been rapidly applied and promoted. Using metal 3D printing technology to make the mold with conformal cooling channels, which are closer to the surface of the mold that needs to be cooled, can shorten the production cycle and improve production efficiency. In the field of mold & die applications, HBD has reached cooperation with many well-known companies in the mold-making industry to jointly create comprehensive solutions for metal 3D printing. HBD deeply integrates the software, hardware, process, and material technology of the equipment to ensure the quality and efficiency of the 3D printed parts.

Xiaolu ZHUANG, Investment Director of CITIC Securities, said: “As a benchmarking company in the field of metal 3D printing, while HBD has achieved world-leading performance in some core technologies, its business has also grown rapidly. It has taken the lead in obtaining unanimous acknowledgment from downstream leading customers in aerospace, industrial, medical, and other industries. The HBD team has a craftsmanship spirit that combines diligence, pragmatism, and hard study. We are very happy to be able to walk hand in hand with the HBD team, and will also provide further assistance to the company in terms of capital planning and other aspects”. The demand for customization in the medical field is extremely high, and it is one of the industries that are very suitable for 3D printing. As a leader in the medical & dental field in the early years, HBD has seen the market potential of orthopedic implants with great foresight and has cooperated with a number of academicians and professors to study the application of metal 3D printing in orthopedic implants. As early as 2015, the first HBD-metal-3D-printed personalized bone plate implantation operation was successfully completed in cooperation with a team of a professor from Southern Medical University.”

Zhilong FU, Partner of WinSoul Capital and Head of the AI/Intelligent Manufacturing Group, concluded: ” WinSoul Capital continues to pay attention to the upgrading of China’s high-end manufacturing industry, and has also made key layouts in this direction. With the development of Industry 4.0, 3D printing technology has made great breakthroughs in core indicators such as efficiency and accuracy. Its application in many industries represented by aerospace, high-end industry, and medical care has become increasingly normalized, giving birth to huge incremental market opportunities. As a senior enterprise rooted in metal additive manufacturing, HBD is committed to leading the industry to achieve breakthroughs in technological bottlenecks, also actively cooperate with upstream and downstream ecological partners in a flexible business model to expand new ideas for industry development and accelerate the large-scale application of metal 3D printing technology. We have seen HBD’s determination to pursue innovation, and we also expect HBD to reach a higher level under the leadership of Mr. Jianye LIU and the support of shareholders, leading China’s metal 3D printing technology to the world stage. WinSoul Capital will accompany HBD to grow together and help HBD become a new generation of metal 3D printing leader.”

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