Tallinn-based Cloud Factory has just raised €2 million to bring about a new approach to fine jewellery, using 3D printing technology. The startup will now scale up its approach to producing cost-effective, sustainable and highly scalable jewellery production.
The jewellery industry isn’t generally associated with sustainability. Nor is it generally associated with 3D printing, scalability or NFTs. But, there’s an Estonian startup here to change that. Tallinn-based Cloud Factory is providing a unique full-service option of branded jewellery design, production and fulfilment – specifically with modern celebrities, merch bands, influencers, creators, gamers and musicians in mind.
The startup has now picked up capital investment to develop its platform.
The €2 million seed round was led by Change Ventures, one of the leading early-stage funds in the Baltics.
Participants in the round include Superhero Capital, a seed-stage venture capital firm based in Finland, and angel investors Artis Kehris (Printify co-founder) and Andrius Šlimas (Oberlo co-founder and CEO).
Founded in 2018 by Taavi Kikas (CEO), Kati Kask (COO), Marek Jõeleht (CTO) and Erik Karu, Cloud Factory will use the investment to increase its manufacturing capacities and further develop its online platform for product creation and effortless order management integrations in order to meet the demand and needs of the new era of celebrities and brands.
Pioneering zero-waste jewellery
By taking the power of greentech to the jewellery industry, Cloud Factory is pioneering a new era of jewellery – one that is more resource efficient and leverages 3D printing technology. The idea was conceived while founder Taavi Kikas was working at Estonia’s TalTec University in Tallinn. Taasvi approached fellow employee powder-metallurgy PhD Marek Jõeleht, with an idea to programme the university’s metal 3D printers to print precious metals, and the rest is history as they say.
Cloud Factory uses only natural and sustainable materials and 100% recycled precious metals in the process of making 3D printed jewellery, through an on-demand manufacturing model. This makes the process waste-free, more scalable, and more sustainable.
The startup is then taking this tech to where the money is – the world of modern celebs and influencers. Cloud Factory helps musicians, brands, and celebrities create their own branded jewellery merchandise through a fully managed service that offers concept building, manufacturing, branded packaging, and drop-shipping. Its innovative production method uses direct metal 3D printing which minimizes the usual production cost and time to produce fine-quality jewellery.
It’s making for a new era of fan merch, going beyond the currently limited and outdated options of t-shirts, baseball caps, and beanies which are the usual go-to options due to mass-production affordability and is easily customizable with a variety of different designs.
Through Cloud Factory, making an entirely new jewellery piece is as easy as printing a logo, and brands can effortlessly level up their merchandising portfolio by adding new jewellery designs.
The flexible 3D printing process allows clients to launch products quickly and adjust merchandising selections according to new content or fast-changing trends. It additionally gives fans a wider, and more exclusive, choice of memorabilia beyond the standard offerings, such as t-shirts, keyrings and mugs.
Kati Kask, Co-Founder and COO of Cloud Factory, commented: “Currently there is no other company in the world offering the same manufacturing model as the one we’ve developed. Our unique in-house printing processes, and post-production operations, enables us to use metal 3D printing for volume manufacturing of high quality jewellery products in a cost-efficient and sustainable way. We are bringing a new dimension to an often outdated sector by simplifying the processes of creating and launching personal jewellery products.”
The team has already gained fast traction, currently creating high-quality fine jewellery for international merchandising partners, including direct-to-fans crowd-selling platform, Represent, and Europe’s leading provider of alternative merchandise, EMP, as well as individual artists such as YouTuber and gamer CoryxKenshin, American rapper and member of popular K-pop band GOT7, Mark Tuan, DJ Alan Walker and numerous jewellery and lifestyle brands.
Further, the innovative company wants to push the frontiers of the jewellery industry further, bringing it into the digital era. To this end, Cloud Factory is digitizing fine jewellery creation as it aims to build a manufacturing network of fully automated on-demand printing hubs around the globe. The company is also launching its first jewellery NFTs in collaboration with several global celebrities to bridge between digital and tangible jewellery products.
Founder and CEO, Taavi Kikas: “We are really excited to live in the era of the metaverse and we are able to bring a really old and traditional industry into this game by producing both physical products and NFTs of exquisite jewellery for leading brands and celebrities.”
Rait Ojasaar, Investment Partner at Change Ventures: “The jewellery industry is a lucrative one, and Cloud Factory has brought a new dynamism to it. Most traditional jewellers have long lead times, aren’t hugely sustainable, and don’t offer the hands-on experience that Cloud Factory provides – from initial design ideas, to branding and direct shipping to customers. It’s a business that’s ideally placed for those artists, musicians, and celebrities who are looking for a way to create prime quality and high volume trendy statement jewellery for their fans.”