Transforming Aerospace: BADideas.fund Investment in Latvia’s AM Craft

Author
Raimonds Kulbergs
Date published

Sky’s the limit (literally) for AM Craft, the team who is aiming to redefine the aerospace industry's manufacturing process using 3D printing technology. Our recent investment in AM Craft fits our ethos of supporting ambitious teams targeting massive, unconventional market opportunities and introducing unique solutions to critical problems.

The aerospace sector is vast - a global fleet of 25,000 planes, which, over 50-60 year lifespans, require numerous interior updates. Replacements are costly and require custom parts, which creates real issues in an industry with stringent safety regulations. It’s then no surprise that the aerospace interior components market is currently valued at $24.8B and growing at an 8% CAGR.

With 10 years of 3D printing under their belt, founders Didzis and Janis wondered whether this technology could be a cheaper and more sustainable answer than more conventional bulk-production. Here’s how AM Craft is addressing the industry's challenges:

  1. Streamlining Supply Chain: The traditional requirement for large orders in aerospace manufacturing leads to inefficiencies, slow lead times, and excess stock. AM Craft's 3D printing approach significantly reduces these constraints, offering faster and more flexible production capabilities.
  2. Bridging the Certification Gap: Despite the presence of 3D printing since 2013, its adoption for certified production has been slow due to high certification costs and time. AM Craft is pioneering in overcoming these challenges, offering certified, cost-effective, and efficient production solutions.

What makes AM Craft a really BAD* idea

What AM Craft is doing differently is providing value through a comprehensive solution for the airline industry delivering certified, customizable, and sustainable aviation parts. Their customers are household names like Finnair, Airbaltic, and Etihad. Their marketplace model, leveraging a decentralized manufacturing network, not only positions them as a leader in scalability but also creates formidable barriers to entry as they expand. One of the team’s biggest achievements has been overcoming initial skepticism from industry back-benchers and achieving industry safety certicications.

How we evaluated AM Craft

We evaluate startups on four key aspects, and AM Craft was an obvious choice:

  • Team: 3.5/4 (50% weight): AM Craft's founders demonstrated exceptional domain expertise and a targeted go-to-market strategy.
  • Market: 4/4 (20% weight): The company targets a high-value market with a significant barrier to entry and a clear need.
  • Product/Traction: 3.5/4 (15% weight): AM Craft has laid a solid foundation and envisions a comprehensive production platform.
  • Distribution: 3/4 (15% weight): The company has established strong industry relationships, evidenced by 47 signed NDAs.

Total Weighted Score: 3.52/4

💡 Artis Kehris, founding member of BADideas.fund on backing AM Craft:

💡
AM Craft has skillfully identified and targeted a critical pain point in the aviation interior parts sector. Their market-niche focus, team synergy, and domain expertise, combined with their ambitious vision, make them an investment we're excited about.

Fasten your seat belt, AM Craft is taking off

Looking ahead, AM Craft plans to expand their sales force and form new technology partnerships, positioning themselves to capitalize on their market potential and bring their vision to life: transforming the future of aircraft manufacturing.

*All unicorns were once BAD ideas - bad on the outside, genius on the inside - and we know that true winners find opportunities where others give up. That’s why we created this angel investing syndicate - so we can invest in ideas that might seem bad to others, but we know could become the next unicorn. If you’re a founder from CEE with a BAD idea and see a fit with BADideas.fund, apply. If you have a startup in mind for BADideas.fund, please refer them - referral incentive applies.

BADideas.fund is an early stage angel syndicate, providing €50K-€100K funding for CEE startups, led by founders & operators. Among members/investors - founders and operators, who’ve been building such companies as Bolt ($1.3B funding), Vimeo ($450M), Printify ($54M), Pandadoc ($51M), Pipedrive ($90M), Apollo.io ($151M), Bird ($783M funding), Shopify ($122M), Whimsical ($30M), Lokalise ($56M), Deel ($679M).

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I am thrilled to share one of our latest BADideas.fund venture into the world of aerospace innovation with our investment in Latvia's AM Craft - they are an ambitious team that’s transforming the aerospace manufacturing landscape through 3D printing technology. Let me give you an inside peek how we made the decision and what got us excited:

🌍 With a global fleet of around 25,000 aircraft, each requiring several interior updates over their decades-long service life, AM Craft is tapping into a massive market. Demand valued at $24.8B and growing.

🔧 The challenges in the industry:

  1. Supply Chain Efficiency: AM Craft is fixing the traditional aerospace supply chain, plagued by inefficiencies and slow lead times. Their innovative 3D printing approach is setting new standards for production flexibility and speed.
  2. Certification Hurdles: They're also pioneering in overcoming the slow adoption of 3D printing for certified production, a process traditionally hampered by high costs and lengthy timelines.

💡 The Unique Value of AM Craft:

  • Offering a comprehensive solution for the airline industry, AM Craft provides certified, customizable, and sustainable aviation parts.
  • Their approach isn't just about parts; it's about reshaping the supply chain through a marketplace model that promises scalability and significant barriers to entry for competitors.

📊 Investment Insight: Our investment decision in AM Craft was backed by rigorous evaluation, focusing on Team, Market, Product/Traction, and Distribution. They scored an impressive 3.52/4 in our assessment, reflecting the strength of their strategy and market positioning.

🔭 Looking Ahead: As AM Craft gears up to expand their sales force and forge new partnerships, we're excited to see them bring their vision of transforming aircraft manufacturing to life.

Excited to have the 200+ BADideas.fund community supporting the AM Craft team to take the aerospace industry to new heights! 🌌

What other startup teams are similarly shaking up their industries and should we keep an eye on in ‘24? Share your thoughts and let's spotlight the game changers!

#AerospaceInnovation #3DPrinting #VentureCapital #BADideasFund #StartupInvestment #AMCraft