3D-printed shoe insoles printer SOLS closes seed funding round with $1.75M led by Lux Capital
When Kegan Schouwenburg was seeking a product to bring 3D printing technology to the mainstream, she didn't expect to find it in orthotics. As the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SOLS, Schouwenburg, who formerly worked at 3D printing firm Shapeways as its Director of Operations and Industrial Engineering, now helps solve problems brought about by foot pain and uncomfortable-fitting footwear. Her solution: Custom 3D-printed insoles that do not only give the wearer a perfect fit but better performance as well, TechCrunch reported.
The company was able to close a seed funding round worth $1.75 million in December but only made the announcement recently. The financing was led by Lux Capital and joined in by RRE, Rothenberg Ventures, Start Garden, Grape Arbor, Felicis Ventures, Terawatt Ventures, Silicon Badia, Expansion VC, Funders Guild and Advanced Laser Materials or ALM. Austin, Texas-based ALM is also aiding SOLS in the area of materials development and production as its strategic investor. Other angel investors also supported SOLS, the report said.
Schouwenburg was trained in industrial design and told TechCrunch that she enjoyed making things and "seeing physical objects come to life." After graduating from Pratt, she established her first firm called Design Glut which made products that were sold to retailers like Urban Outfitters and Target, the report said.
She encountered 3D printing technology when she was encountering issues on how increase production. She told TechCrunch, "I thought, my god, 3D printing is the answer to this. It's this beautiful collision of being able to make things instantaneously at the same cost no matter whether you make one or a thousand, and [being able to] rapidly increase the speed of development and time to market."
SOLS offers custom-printed antimicrobial nylon insoles. In order to come up with the custom-fitted insole, a person records a video of his or her foot through an application found on iOS or Android devices. SOLS then performs a series of processing algorithms to form the final product, the report said.