West High Investment Interview: 2015 100 million yuan investment in metal 3D printing company “Blite” reopened
Everyone should be familiar with the news of Bright as the first 3D Printing company to be listed on the Sci-tech Innovation Edition. Relevant data and financial reports show that Blite has achieved profitability, and it is also one of the few profitable companies among many 3D printing companies. So now let’s take a look at Du Longbo, the investment director of Xi’an High-tech Industry Venture Capital Co., Ltd. in charge of the project, and discuss the investment logic in the field of 3D printing and other issues. The following is part of the re-examination of West High Investment’s investment in Blite:
Q: Investing in Bright, what are the highlights of this project? West High Investment: First of all, the industry and policies are favorable. Secondly, there is a clear leading position in the industry. Relying on the Westgong Rhubarb Weidong team, Blite takes the lead in technology. And most of the team members have a background in materials science, have a clear understanding of the most important factor restricting the development of 3D printing-materials, and have a natural advantage in the continuous update and development of technology in the future. At the same time, the company has applied for 137 independent intellectual property rights related to metal additive manufacturing technology, and metal 3D printing has high entry barriers and industry barriers among all 3D printing. Finally, there is the resource advantage. Blite has a background of Western University of Technology, and its advantages in connection with the military industry, especially the aviation industry, are unmatched by other companies. This will bring a steady stream of orders for the aviation industry.
Q: How did you estimate the company’s future cash flow at that time? West High Investment: Blite was established in 2011. By 2015, when we contacted the company, it had been profitable for many years, and both revenue and net profit grew very fast. This is also what we think Blite is superior to other 3D printing companies. An important reason. The main reason for this phenomenon is that Blite has a leading level in terms of starting time, technical accumulation and personnel quality. In addition, Bright is involved in the entire industry chain of 3D printing. In the early days of its establishment, the company’s main business was the design and production of metal powder additive manufacturing related parts and the repair of customer accessories. It not only provided the company with a main source of income, but also provided the company with its metal 3D printing technology exploration, performance improvement and A solid foundation has been laid for market development. Question: Can you introduce some key findings when you looked at this project at that time? West High Investment: Most of the core patents of 3D printing are controlled by equipment manufacturers, so equipment manufacturers occupy a dominant position in the entire industry chain. However, Stratasys and 3D Systems, the top two international equipment manufacturers in the United States, are undergoing industry chain integration. 3D Systems adopts a path of upstream and downstream mergers and acquisitions, and the targets of mergers and acquisitions include service providers, software companies, materials and equipment manufacturers.
Stratasys’ integration path is mainly horizontal integration. Through a series of integrations, equipment companies have transformed into comprehensive solution providers, strengthening their ability to comprehensively control the industrial chain. It can be seen that the integration of the industrial chain is an important strategy that international giants are optimistic about and have begun to implement. Blite is involved in the entire industrial chain of upstream materials, midstream equipment and downstream services, and it has taken a step ahead of its domestic counterparts in the future development layout. Q: What do you think are the investment directions for the 3D printing industry in the future? West High Investment: We see that some core components of domestic 3D printing equipment, such as precision lasers, optical systems, precision guides and motors, still need to be purchased from abroad. High-quality metal powder, liquid photosensitive resin, polymer particles and other 3D printing materials also need to be imported from abroad.
In addition, we have observed that the industry’s international leaders are undergoing industrial chain integration. Therefore, we believe that the business has involved 3D printing upstream and downstream companies or companies with industrial chain integration capabilities, as well as printing equipment companies with core technology patents or professional technology companies that can realize import substitution in the industry chain. There will be more room for future development. Question: What kind of investment logic do you follow when investing in 3D printing companies? West High Investment: 3D printing is a technology-led industry, so first of all, if the core team of this company is a leading expert in the industry, it must have a certain leading edge in technology and a clear grasp of the future development of the industry. The leading team can ensure the company’s continuous output in technology research and development and patents, and further dig deeper into the company’s moat.
With the leading product technology and the strong market development capabilities of the team, revenue growth will be a natural result. To
Question: Can you tell me some of your views on industry trends after studying this industry?
West High Investment: With the strong growth momentum of metal additive manufacturing in the global market, the scale of the 3D printing industry continues to expand. Market demand has also promoted the development and launch of new printing materials. The improvement of technology has also brought about the expansion of application scenarios and the improvement of application level. At present, 3D printing is mainly used in the fields of aerospace, military industry, medical implants and automobile production. With the further deepening of related technologies in the future, the fields of electronic appliances and personal consumption may usher in rapid development. In addition, in the context of “Internet +”, some companies have gradually begun to build network operation models including cloud platforms for medical applications and C2B. To
Question: In view of the large-scale prospects of 3D printing, what do you think is the key point for the possible explosion of the industry in the future?
West High Investment: This is a gradual accumulation process. If the industry wants to achieve scale, it needs to continuously try to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Metal 3D printing technology is first applied in military, aerospace and other fields, and once it is popularized and applied on a large scale in these niche fields, it can further enhance its acceptance in the civilian field. Blite’s entry into the science and technology innovation board also played a role in helping the public to learn more about 3D printing.
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