Manufacturing Marketplace Secures Funding

European Founders Fund joins Bezos Expeditions as key investors. Inc., an Atlanta-based global online marketplace for the manufacturing community, has announced the closing of a round of funding by European Founders Fund (EFF), based in Munich, Germany. Existing investor Bezos Expeditions LLC, led the round of funding. The funds will be used for’s continued global expansion and the creation of new online services for the manufacturing community, the company said. 

Founded in 2000, is a privately held company that operates a proprietary Web-based platform designed to match sourcing professionals and engineers with suppliers who have the right expertise and capacity to manufacture parts and tooling on demand in accordance with their engineering drawings and CAD files. The service is free for buyers, while suppliers pay an annual online subscription fee. Billions of dollars worth of discrete manufacturing services and industrial components are sourced online via every year, according to the company.  

“The manufacturing industry is one of the largest industries in the world. It is global by nature and highly fragmented,” said Oliver Samwer, co-founder of the European Founders Fund. “ is bringing tremendous efficiency to the manufacturing industry and has garnered the all-important critical mass that a marketplace requires to be successful. Our organization knows the marketplace business firsthand and looks forward to contributing our experience and expertise to” 

Fast growth also announced that 2006 was its best year to date, setting new records in the volume of manufacturing projects sourced through the online marketplace and in company sales and revenues. Marketplace volume increased by 103 percent and revenue was up 97 percent compared to 2005, the company said. 

“The Internet and the manufacturing ecosystem are both global, and an online marketplace for the manufacturing industry won’t work on a localized basis,” said Mitch Free, founder and chief executive officer of “2006 was a fantastic year for us with a lot of focus on creating a global foundation for us to build upon. With our acquisition of, in Geneva, the establishment of a wholly-owned foreign entity in China, our new offices in Europe and a strategic partnership in India, we are now a significant player in the most important buy and supply markets.” 

“I am pleased to have Bezos Expeditions and European Founders Fund as partners,” continued Free. “Jeff Bezos and the Samwer brothers are highly successful entrepreneurs with hands-on experience building large global online businesses. They invest their own money and bring a level of expertise and experience that pure financial investors just can’t offer.” 

Jeff Bezos is known as the founder of The Samwers are the founders of eBay Germany (alando) and Jamba! (now part of News Corp.). The Internet companies founded by the Samwers have achieved combined sales of more than €1 billion.

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