Proto Labs Inc. got a $52 million shot in the arm when Waltham, Mass.-based investment house North Bridge Growth Equity made a minority investment in the company.
Proto Labs officials will use the funds to expand its technology, expand the privately held company's global footprint and provide liquidity to long-time shareholders, said Brad Cleveland, Proto Labs president and chief executive officer, in an Aug. 20 telephone interview.
Maple Plain, Minn.-based Proto Labs has two divisions Protomold, which specializes in rapid injection molding, and First Cut Prototype, which makes parts by machining plastic, or subtractive rapid prototyping.
``We want to bring both of those divisions and technologies to Europe to grow faster,'' Cleveland said. ``We're working on additional services that we can provide to our customers to have their parts made very, very quickly. You'll see us bring out new offerings in Europe and North America, and next year in Japan.''
The company runs a three-building, 160,000-square-foot plant in Maple Plain that employs 200. Proto Labs has a 70-worker, 35,000-square-foot plant in Telford, England, which serves the entire European Union, Cleveland said. The company plans to open a similar facility in Japan next year, he said, adding the world's best design engineers outside of North America and Europe are in Japan.
North Bridge investors target technology-based companies with $20 million to $200 million in annual sales, a news release said.