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ABB’s Venture Capital Arm Invests in 3D printed Motor Component Maker Persimmon

ABB

ABB Technology Ventures (ATV) yesterday announced its 17th investment, a Series B financing of Persimmon Technologies, creator of a new high precision industrial robot and developer of breakthrough 3D printing processes using air fuel deposition to literally ‘print’ higher performing metal motor components. Since launching in 2011, Persimmon has been developing in conjunction with its core vacuum robotics business this deposition process, a novel approach to making motor components that aims to increase power density, eliminate manufacturing steps and reduce costs, funded in large part by NSF grant money.

ATV is the VC arm of Swiss engineering giant ABB and has had an active presence in the D.C. area, thanks to senior vice president, Grant Allen, formerly with Core Capital Partners and a founding member of NextGen Angels.

ABB is a $40 billion revenue industrial conglomerate based in Zurich, Switzerland, and Persimmon’s ‘Hybrid Field’ 3D technology is of prime interest to this leading motor maker. In 2010, ABB acquired Baldor Electric Company, a producer of industrial electric motors, mechanical power transmission products, drives and generator sets for $4.2 billion. ABB is also a world leader in larger scale, 6-axis industrial robots. You can, for instance, see ABB robots featured in “Iron Man 3” as Tony Stark’s virtual ‘assistants.’

The Persimmon investment capped a $13 million total Series B financing led initially by Intel Capital and Nidec Sankyo. The company has raised $16 million to date.

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About the Author

Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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