Online manufacturing marketplace gets $26 million to fund global expansion

Jan. 11, 2008, Inc. (, a global online marketplace for the manufacturing community, got $26 million in financing led by Fidelity Ventures and Fidelity Asia Ventures with additional funding from European Founders Fund. The financing will be used to fund’s continued global expansion, technology development, creation of new online services and potential acquisitions.

Fidelity Ventures partner, Larry Cheng, has joined’s board of directors. Current board members include Mitch Free, chief executive officer and founder of and Steve Campbell, chief investment officer. Fidelity Asia Ventures managing partner, Daniel Auerbach, has joined’s board of directors as an observer.

"The manufacturing industry is one of the world's largest vertical markets and represents a high potential market for a B-to-B marketplace because of its size, inherent globalization and fragmentation," said Cheng who currently serves on the boards of Prosper, eCredit, mindSHIFT Technologies and as a board observer on The New Orleans Exchange. " has demonstrated strong historical growth and built a world-class platform that we are confident positions them to further capitalize on the converging trends that are transforming the manufacturing industry: accelerated globalization and increased Internet utilization."

The marketplace facilitates billions of dollars in manufacturing transactions annually by connecting buyers and suppliers of manufactured products around the world. With offices in North America, Europe and Asia, supports 10 languages and 12 currencies allowing its members to connect instantly without geographical or technological barriers.

"Not only does's proprietary on-demand technology streamline the complex process of sourcing and selling manufacturing services, it also intelligently connects buyers and sellers from around the world while providing an unparalleled approach to intellectual property protection online," Auerbach said. Auerbach currently serves on the boards of Danji Technology Holdings Ltd and UIM Holdings and served on the boards of some of China's most recognized companies including AsiaInfo, Hurray Holdings, Wuxi Pharmatech, and since its early beginnings, the Alibaba Group holding company that includes the leading B-to-B e-commerce company in China which recently launched a very successful IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. "The success has achieved in China just a year after establishing its office in Shanghai will help pave the way for future geographic expansion and overall business growth as the leading online manufacturing platform."

Since its founding in 2000, has scaled to be the largest online manufacturing marketplace in the world. In 2006, the company acquired Geneva-based Together, the strategic combination has already helped achieve a critical mass of more than 100,000 registered buyers and suppliers that have adopted the platform as their preferred way of doing business. Every minute of every day, buyers and suppliers of manufacturing services and industrial products from all corners of the globe are connecting online at and conducting business. The manufacturing industry is a truly global ecosystem and the platform has been designed to facilitate global trade, multiple languages, multiple currencies and has elegant solutions to address intellectual property concerns making sourcing online more secure than traditional methods.

"Our continued global growth was not dependent on raising additional capital, particularly given the profitability of our core business and the commitment of our existing investors Bezos Expeditions and European Founders Fund," Free explained. "However, we were particularly impressed with the strategic value that Fidelity Ventures' and Fidelity Asia Ventures' could offer based on their domain expertise and global reach, as evidenced by their successful investments in other online B-to-B marketplaces, including Their investment and involvement in will further accelerate along the path of becoming the dominant platform upon which the world's manufacturing community conducts business."