Freelance Platform for Manufacturing
3DHoudini is the first freelance platform for the manufacturing industry.
It provides on-demand solutions for sourcing parts and related services, giving manufacturers access to a $1 trillion global market. Within this market are sectors including 3D Printing, Tooling and Mold Making, Fiberglass, 3D Scanning, and Computer-Aided Design.
3DHoudini was designed to assist small businesses and companies that have excessive downtime for their equipment.
While working for a global consulting company, 3DHoudini CEO Chris White realized what a waste it was for a $600,000 router to sit idle for weeks at a time.
He had previously used freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr to build personal websites, and wondered if the same sort of freelancing website would be helpful in the manufacturing industry.
Upwork (Nasdaq: UPWK) has a market cap of $1.5 billion. And Fiverr, which recently raised funds at a $600 million valuation, filed to go public in 2019.
With the goal of providing a marketplace for buyers and sellers of manufactured parts and services, Chris created 3DHoudini.
Essentially, this marketplace connects purchasers who need manufactured parts and services with providers of these services. In doing so, it makes buying and selling faster, less expensive, and more secure.
The company facilitates sales, but doesn’t actually sell products. Instead, it charges a commission per transaction to the seller and a service fee to the buyer.
Here’s how its marketplace operates:
First, sellers of products and services create free listings, which can include detailed profiles with video and photo galleries. (As an example, a seller might post services such as 3D printing, injection molding, or laser cutting.)
Next, prospective buyers browse the listings and request bids from sellers. Interested buyers can also post projects for service providers to browse and bid on.
Finally, both parties communicate the details and the job is completed.
In addition to connecting buyers and sellers, 3DHoudini’s platform features include:
• Communication tools: These include direct video chat, instant messaging, and photo/video updates.
• Bidding system: As mentioned, users can browse and request bids from sellers, and respond to bids with counteroffers.
• Customizable terms: 3DHoudini offers partial payment options, order adjustments, and imposes penalties for delayed projects.
• Security features: To protect members, the marketplace features a payment protection system (payment held until terms are met); identity verification (document proofing and risk screening to reduce fraud); electronic consent agreements; and a dispute resolution center.
For each transaction, 3DHoudini charges a 7% commission to the seller and a 3% service fee to the buyer. For billing on services that exceed $10,000, the commission rate drops to 5%.
Future revenue will come from access to premium services. These will include dedicated support, additional tools and reports, website placement, and "showcase" emails. These services will soon be available through paid subscriptions.
3DHoudini began building its marketplace in July 2019, and its beta site launched in April 2020. That month, the first transaction was completed.
In June 2020, an expanded version of the marketplace launched to service providers, and a full launch is expected in July 2020.
3DHoudini plans to use 75% of funds raised in this funding round to start an aggressive marketing and advertising campaign.
It’s working with Zazmic, a Silicon Valley-based digital marketing firm, and campaigns will include:
Social media, SEO, affiliate influencers, e-mail marketing, and ad buys through Google Ads, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
The remaining funds will be used to develop features including address validation tools, chat support, and a mobile app.
Prior to starting 3DHoudini, Chris was a senior technical build specialist for Teague, a design company. While there, he worked on a project called Blue Moon, affiliated with Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos’ space company, Blue Origin.
At Teague, he noticed the company’s manufacturing and design equipment was sitting idle for weeks at a time. This served as his inspiration to start 3DHoudini.
Before that, he was President of Wetboard, a company creating the world’s first electric-powered water ski-wakeboard device. He worked here for three years after serving as Vice President of Antropy Incorporated, a manufacturing company that partnered with NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Earlier in his career, he was Vice President of Convergent Technologies Corporation, a technology licensing company, and Vice President of Hawino Records, a music record label.
Chris earned a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Since 2018, Jean-Louis has served as Founder and CEO of Beyond Advisory. It is in this capacity that he consults for 3DHoudini.
Prior to starting this company, he was a chapter communication officer for YPO, a non-profit global leadership community made up of nearly 30,000 CEOs.
Before that, he was President Director of Cargill Indonesia, a division of Cargill, a provider of food, agriculture, and financial services.
While with Cargill, Jean-Louis restructured a client’s coconut crushing plant in Indonesia, helping turn the company’s $4 million in losses to $9 million in profits. He also sourced and negotiated Cargill’s largest acquisition in Southeast Asia, a $300 million deal.
Earlier in his career, he spent seven years with UBS Investment Bank. He was a sales member focused on U.S. equity investments and later became Head of Indonesian Equity Distribution.
Jean-Louis earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Minnesota and an MBA in Marketing.
Nihar is an experienced full-stack software developer.
Prior to joining 3DHoudini, he was an iOS app developer for Bigscal Technologies, an India-based IT services company.
He holds a Master’s degree in Information Technology from J.P. Dawer Institute of Information Science and Technology.