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Rumor has it that MakerBot may be ready to cash out

Four years after founding his plucky start-up, is Bre Pettis about to sell?
MakerBot Industries
Four years after founding his plucky start-up, is Bre Pettis ready to sell?
By Rachel Feltman
New York CityPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

3-D printing darling MakerBot Industries may be in talks for an acquisition, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Just who’s looking to buy the four-year-old start-up remains to be seen. With $10 million in revenue last year and $50 million in sales projected for 2013, the company is ripe for the picking.

MakerBot’s latest desktop printer models range from $2,000 to $2,800, and more than 20,000 MakerBot printers have been sold since 2009. Last fall, New York City became home to a MakerBot store where customers can watch demos and take home 3-D printed objects. Other start-ups promising cheaper options have sprung up, but MakerBot has remained the standard for affordable at-home 3-D printing, as well as for companies like Ford Motor Co.

According to The Wall Street Journal’s unnamed sources, MakerBot’s biggest investors—including CEO Jeff Bezos and MakerBot founder Bre Pettis—were initially looking into raising a new round of venture capital to the tune of $300 million. But those discussions led to talk of an acquisition. Still, the company may decide to hold on and continue riding the 3-D printing wave on its own.

MakerBot reps have so far declined to comment on the rumored acquisition, but we’re betting that 3-D printing companies Stratasys and Z Corp will make a play for the company. Both make industrial 3-D printers that have been out-priced (and out-performed) by MakerBot’s most recent model. But there, there are a lot of companies hankering for a foothold in the world of 3-D printing. So it’s an open game.

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