With 20,000+ users on board, Sketchfab raises a 370K€ Angel round for its YouTube of 3D

Feb 25, 2013
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SketchfabSketchfab, the YouTube of 3D content,  has raised 370,000 euros from Oleg TscheltzoffJacques-Antoine Granjon, Nicolas Rosset &Jerry Nieuviarts (Clubic), Sylvain Zimmer (Jamendo, Joshfire) and Andrew Lacy (Tapulous, LeCamping mentor). The startup, which just finished Season 3 of LeCamping, was one of the most well-taken to startups in the season, having attracted 20,000+ users to the platform. Founded by Alban Denoyel, Cedric Pinson, and Pierre-Antoine Passet, we covered Sketchfab last year when they launched the pro edition of their platform, which allows users to put their WebGL or other 3D content documents online, and then to display, embed, and share them.

I spoke about the round of funding with Alban Deonyel, who seemed quite at ease with the news. “It’s sort of a perpetual fund-raising these days,” he said. The team, which returned recently from one month in the Silicon Valley as part of Mozilla’s WebFWD accelerator program, seemed pretty content with their time there: “we have a historical relationship with Mozilla, due to the fact that we rely on WebGL, which Mozilla authored.”

The company will be looking to continue integration partnerships in order to solidify their position as the resource center for 3D renderings – their most recent integration with Kickstarter has produced great results, with the most recent Lynx 3D Camera already bypassing its $50K pledge goal – you can see the 3D image renderings built right in to the Kickstarter Campaign. They also have been implemented by this Desktop 3D Scanner Kickstarter campaign.

While this Angel funding will primarily be used to help the product grow and keep the team on its feet (they are currently working at Le Chaudron, the shared working space used by many post-LeCamping teams). I asked about their hopes for raising a bigger round down the road, an inevitability for platforms with visions as big as theirs, and Alban said they wouldn’t rule out raising funds in the Silicon Valley “Because of our relationship with Mozilla, we already had some interest in the SIlicon Valley, but we had all but closed this round before we headed out there, so we said we would hold off until later…. French VCs mostly invest in proven business models,” something Sketchfab is still looking for while they continue to grow in users.

While it may be tough to raise VC money with so many variables, despite great traction, it’s great to know that French startups continue to spark interest abroad – after all, over 50% of venture money in French startups last year came from foreign investors.

Hat Tip to JDN for getting the scoop.