East Williamsburg’s Voodoo Manufacturing plans to build a new factory and bolster its management team after raising $1.4 million in seed funding from KPBC Edge and angel investors including David Karp, the CEO of Tumblr.
“We realized there was a pretty big market not just in hardware and manufacturing but also in the promotional material space and we’ve just continued to grow and decided it was time to really build up a team,” Voodoo cofounder Max Friefeld said by phone Tuesday night.
The company has already begun hiring — adding directors of marketing, sales and manufacturing.
Friefeld would not comment on which new technologies the company will be investing in, but we have covered plenty of what they’ve recently talked about. In October, we talked to the company about its plans to become a sort of Amazon Web Services for hardware, where companies would have a Voodoo Manufacturing API. Customers at retailers would be able to design or customize products online and their orders would go straight to Voodoo for fulfillment. In June, Voodoo said it was able to print a new rubbery material, and that it was experimenting with nickel plating on its products to improve aesthetics.
Friefeld also said the company will be looking to build out a larger factory than the one it has in East Williamsburg, which holds about 150 printers. Friefeld said he wants enough space to be able to scale up the number of printers to as many as 10,000 (whoa). When asked if he could find a cost effective space in New York, or whether the company would have to move its factory out of the city, Friefeld said it would stay in New York, and preferably stay in Brooklyn.
“There are a lot of affordable places to go in the five boroughs,” he said. “And even in Brooklyn, places like the Brooklyn Navy Yard are cheaper. It’s pretty important for us to stay in New York. Keeping engineering near to manufacturing is important,” he said. “We’re not gonna get those people to move out to New Jersey. And we don’t really want them to. If you run the numbers that’s more of a micro-optimization that we could get instead of having a great engineering team.”
Friefeld also said Voodoo joined Y Combinator’s winter class of startups. While management is staying in Brooklyn, one of each of the company’s four founders are flying out to Mountain View, Calif., each Tuesday for talks with the YC mentors and communal YC Tuesday dinners.
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