Makerbot, the Brooklyn-based 3D printing company, is in talks with Minneapolis/Israel-based Stratasys regarding a possible acquisition by the latter, according to a source close to the matter. While Makerbot founder and CEO Bre Pettis refused to comment on speculation, and in fact told reporters “We’re not going anywhere” at a factory opening on Friday, persistent rumors of a sale or new funding have followed the company this year.
Stratasys makes high-end, professional-grade 3D printers for industrial applications. For example, the Liberator 3D-printed pistol was built on a Stratasys machine. Stratasys does not yet have an entry-level model for average users, a niche in which Makerbot has generated $50 million in revenue this year.
The company also appears to be chatting with investors to raise $25 million on a $300 million valuation, according to a WSJ report. We had also gotten the information that the company had been raising, but at a valuation quite beyond that. With 3D printing technology all the rage, and considerably less-hyped startup Shapeways recently raising a $30 million Andreessen-led round, why wouldn’t Makerbot want to maximize its own momentum?
Note: That image above is not of a Makerbot, but a random 3D Printer in SkyMall magazine. Signal of lack of consumer utility? Or a sign of mainstream acceptance?