Fast Radius has leased a 50,000-square-foot building on Goose Island that will have manufacturing space, as well as software and customer support. It’s the company’s fourth microfactory. Two others are in the West Loop, and another is in Louisville, Ky. The company is betting it can provide customers cost-effective, on-demand solutions for manufacturing products close to distribution hubs.
The expansion is something of a homecoming for Fast Radius CEO Lou Rassey, a former McKinsey supply-chain expert who was involved with MxD, the federally funded advanced-manufacturing research center on Goose Island.
Fast Radius, which is headquartered in Chicago, has about 325 employees. It's going public in a deal with special-purpose acquisition company ECP Environmental Growth Opportunities that will value it at $1.4 billion.
ECP is a blank-check company based in Summit, N.J., that went public early in 2021. It’s backed by Energy Capital Partners Management, a private-equity fund headed by Doug Kimmelman, a former Goldman Sachs partner focused on the energy industry. Fast Radius' prior investors include logistics giant UPS; Drive Capital, a venture fund in Columbus, Ohio; as well as Chicago-based backers Hyde Park Venture Partners, Jump Capital and Michael Polsky’s Skydeck Capital.
Fathom Digital Manufacturing, a Wisconsin-based competitor in the on-demand manufacturing industry, completed a SPAC merger Dec. 27. Fathom’s largest shareholder is Chicago-based private-equity firm CORE Industrial Partners.