Israeli 3D metal inkjet-based jetting printing startup XJet Ltd., raised a $25 million funding round led by Catalyst CEL Fund, which invested $10 million in this round. Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), a world leader in 3D design software in the engineering and manufacturing industries, and existing investors, also participated in this round.
The new funds will be used for further R&D and for XJet’s global product launch.
With a decade’s-worth of research behind it, XJet’s technology is redefining the metal additive manufacturing arena by bringing new levels of detail, quality and speed to the production of metal parts, and increased safety by moving away from potentially hazardous powder-based metals to liquid metal inks. XJet’s patented NanoParticle Jetting technology makes use of solid metal nanoparticles within a liquid suspension, liquid “ink”. Delivered as sealed cartridges, these materials, as well as the support materials, are loaded easily by hand into the XJet system, eliminating the need to handle metal powders. XJet’s system print heads deposit an ultra-fine layer of liquid droplets which contain stochastic metal-nanoparticles onto the system build-tray.
XJet was founded by CEO Hanan Gothait, a serial entrepreneur and veteran of the inkjet printing industry. Gothait was a co-founder of Objet Geometries, which later merged with Stratasys. Established in Rehovot, Israel, XJet has 66 employees and boasts 50 multidisciplinary R&D specialists and has filed more than 50 registered and pending patents.
“This additional round of funding is another vote of confidence in XJet and will ensure our position as leader in the 3D metal printing arena,” said Gothait. “We believe that XJet will redefine major areas of production through its short-run production of complex metal parts. Furthermore, the participation of a leading private equity fund such as the Catalyst CEL Fund as well as the global leader in 3D design software Autodesk further shows the investors’ faith in XJet’s innovative three-dimensional technology.”
As part of the investment round, Yair Shamir, managing partner of Catalyst CEL Fund and Catalyst PE, and son of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, became chairman of XJet.
“XJet has a highly seasoned and experienced management team with innovative, and even revolutionary technology, which we trust will make a significant change in the production industry of sophisticated metal parts,” said Shamir. “Jointly with our Chinese partners, we hope to help the company make a meaningful market entry into the Chinese industry and production market.”
“XJet is another great example of Israel’s innovation and entrepreneurs developing disruptive and leading-edge technology with a significant global potential,” said Shengyan Fan, head of the M&A department at China Everbright and managing partner of Catalyst CEL Fund.
The company will officially launch its technology in the U.S. at the RAPID conference in Orlando on May 17, 2016, and later in the year at a major tradeshow in Germany.
Catalyst CEL Fund is the first dedicated Israel-China private equity fund. The fund is jointly managed by teams of Catalyst and China Everbright Limited (CEL). The fund invests in mid-to-late stage companies with proven innovation and global presence, whose growth strategy is oriented towards activities in emerging markets with a special focus on the Greater China market. Focus sectors for the fund include industrials, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, water, energy, technology, media and telecommunication among others. The fund had its first closing in March 2014 and invested in its first two portfolio companies.
China Everbright Limited (CEL) was established in Hong Kong in 1997, CEL persistently pursues its macro asset management strategy, with specific focuses on cross-border asset management and investment business. CEL manages a series of private equity funds, venture capital funds, sector focus funds, mezzanine funds, hedge funds and principal investment as operated via an international management platform, and provides overseas investors with opportunities to explore and invest in companies with fast growing potential in Mainland China. CEL also seeks investment opportunities from overseas and provides diversified financial services for its clients in Mainland China. As of 30 June 2015, CEL’s total fundraising scale reached over HK$51.7 billion, with a total of 30 funds.
CEL, a member of China Everbright Group, is the second largest shareholder of Everbright Securities (SH: 601788), a strategic shareholder of China Everbright Bank (SH: 601818; HK: 6818), the controlling shareholder of the Hong Kong-listed China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (HK: 1848) and the second largest shareholder of the Singapore-listed Ying Li International Real Estate Limited (SGX: 5DM).
Catalyst Private Equity is an Israeli private equity multi-fund firm affiliated with the Cukierman & Co. Investment House Ltd. The firm has an established track record through the execution of three top-performing funds. With over $280 million committed capital under management, the firm invests in innovative Israeli middle-market companies in global markets. The firm’s partners are Edouard Cukierman, Yair Shamir, Alain Dobkin, Boaz Harel, Dorothee Moshevich and Olga Bermant. The firm was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Tel Aviv.