Yesterday, our friends at Proto Labs, Inc. set the range for their IPO shares at between $13 - $15, and hope to raise between $56M - $65M based on selling 4.3M shares. Assuming the mid-point of this range, they would have valuation of roughly $325M (or roughly 3.3x TTMR). They have applied to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "PRLB".
North Bridge (Growth Equity I, L.P) a significant investor and Board member has also indicated an interest to purchase additional shares at the IPO price. Protomold has grown their revenues from $43.8M in 2009 to $98.9M in 2011, while remaining profitable throughout the period. They have a substantial return customer rate, where repeat orders from existing customers have historically been around 80% of their revenues. A majority of their revenues come from the US (74%) with the remainder coming from fifty other countries. Proto Labs employs more than 500 people worldwide.
For those interested in learning more about their business details, you can find them in their recently amended S-1, which can be found here: http://edgar.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1443669/000119312512054357/0001193125-12-054357-index.htm.
Obviously, it is exciting news to see an American manufacturing company poised to go public. Manufacturing most certainly is "sexy" and "investible" at the same time. Geomagic is proud to be one player in the digital ecosystem that helps to capture/modify and make items -- but at the end of the day you cannot work in a digital chair, write on a virtual table or drive home in a VR car. It is also exciting to see a company that is about to go public highlighting the value chain and opportunities around mass-customization.
Protomold, as the name implies, concentrates on the rapid prototyping market -- with a complete and fast solution from design to either CNC milling or injection molding, supporting various material types. Proto Mold, in their S-1, describes their business as: "We are leading online and technology-enabled quick-turn manufacturer of custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. We provide "Real Parts, Really Fast" to product developers worldwide, who are under increasing pressure to bring their finished products to market faster than their competition".
A image in the Protomold S-1 illustrates their production processes very well:
Geomagic recently used the Protomold process from Proto Labs to produce our 2012 Demo Part, achieving an aggressive time deadline and exceeding our manufacturing goals .
A case study on this project can be found on page 7 of the Q4, 2011 Proto Labs Journal found here: http://www.protomold.com/Documents/UnitedStates/ProtoLabsJournal_2011Q4.pdf as well as in a series of Geomagic blog posts by our own Richard Sandham who detailed our own experience and process with the Proto Mold team: