Cloud Factory, one of the world’s first companies to use direct metal 3D printing to scalably manufacture fine jewelry, cost-effectively and sustainably, has raised a €2M ($2.1M) seed round, led by Change Ventures, one of the leading early-stage funds in the Baltics.
Participants in the round include Superhero Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm based in Finland, and angel investors Artis Kehris (Printify co-founder), and Andrius Šlimas (Oberlo co-founder and CEO).
Cloud Factory team Taavi, Erik, Kati, and Marek
Cloud Factory was founded in Tallinn, Estonia, in 2018, by Taavi Kikas (CEO), Kati Kask (COO), Marek Jõeleht (CTO), and Erik Karu (CFO), and will use the investment to increase its manufacturing capacities and further develop its online platform for product creation and effortless order management integrations to meet the demand of the new era of celebrities and brands.
Cloud Factory is one of the first zero-waste jewelry factories in the world to use resource-efficient 3D printing technology. Only natural and sustainable materials, and 100% recycled precious metals, are used in the 3D printing of the jewelry, through an on-demand manufacturing model.
Cloud Factory helps musicians, brands, and celebrities create their own branded jewelry merchandise through a fully managed service that offers concept building, manufacturing, branded packaging, and drop shipping. Its innovative production method uses direct metal 3D printing which minimizes the usual production cost and time to produce fine-quality jewelry.
Fan merch is currently limited, with t-shirts, baseball caps, and beanies being the usual go-to options due to mass-production affordability and being easily customizable with a variety of different designs. Through Cloud Factory, making an entirely new jewelry piece is as easy as printing a logo, and brands can effortlessly level up their merchandising portfolio with the addition of new jewelry designs.
Cloud Factory’s fully managed service gives celebrities, brands, and creators the ability to offer fans quality, state-of-the-art products without the time-consuming effort of having to develop and launch new products.
The services that Cloud Factory provides, such as developing design ideas, dealing with pre-orders, and managing inventory, gives creators the freedom to spend their time developing their work and brand. The flexible 3D printing process allows clients to launch products quickly and adjust merchandising selections according to new content or fast-changing trends. In addition to this, it gives fans a wider, and more exclusive, choice of memorabilia beyond the standard offerings.
The team is now creating high-quality fine jewelry for international merchandising partners, including direct-to-fans crowd-selling platform, Represent, and Europe’s leading provider of alternative merchandise, EMP, as well as individual artists such as YouTuber and gamer CoryxKenshin, American rapper and member of popular K-pop band GOT7, Mark Tuan, DJ Alan Walker, and numerous jewelry and lifestyle brands.
“Currently there is no other company in the world offering the same manufacturing model as the one we’ve developed. Our unique in-house printing processes, and post-production operations, enable us to use metal 3D printing for volume manufacturing of high-quality jewelry products in a cost-efficient and sustainable way. We are bringing a new dimension to an often outdated sector by simplifying the processes of creating and launching personal jewelry products,” said Kati Kask, Co-Founder, and COO of Cloud Factory.
Cloud Factory is digitalizing fine jewelry creation as it aims to build a manufacturing network of fully automated, on-demand printing hubs around the globe that offer a fast, affordable, sustainable, and local service for celebrities and ecommerce brands. The company is also launching its first jewelry NFTs in collaboration with several global celebrities to bridge between digital and tangible jewelry products.
“We are really excited to live in the era of the metaverse and we are able to bring a really old and traditional industry into this game by producing both physical products and NFTs of the exquisite jewelry for leading brands and celebrities,” added Taavi Kikas, Founder and CEO of Cloud Factory.
According to a recent report from luxury brand consultants Matter of Form, the jewelry industry is set to be worth $480.5B by 2025, and this is despite a 25% dip in sales for watch and jewelry makers in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cloud Factory was able to avoid a drop in sales during the pandemic as most of the processes involved in the creation and manufacturing of 3D jewelry can be done remotely. While physical jewelry productions across the globe temporarily closed, Cloud Factory’s online orders kept growing as it saw a 213% increase in sales across 2020 in comparison to 2019.
“The jewelry industry is a lucrative one, and Cloud Factory has brought a new dynamism to it,” said Rait Ojasaar, Investment Partner at Change Ventures. “Most traditional jewelers have long lead times, aren’t hugely sustainable, and don’t offer the hands-on experience that Cloud Factory provides – from initial design ideas, to branding and direct shipping to customers. It’s a business that’s ideally placed for those artists, musicians, and celebrities who are looking for a way to create prime quality and high volume trendy statement jewelry for their fans.”
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Author: Edward Wakefield