New investment: tindie, a marketplace for the maker generation

I’m very excited to announce Version One’s investment in Tindie, a marketplace for gadget tinkerers and the maker generation.

Many think that 2012 was the year of hardware. Today, getting a product ready for market is less risky and cheaper than ever, thanks to rapid prototyping with 3D printers, cheaper high-powered computers that can run simulations, the emerging democratization of manufacturing, and access to crowdfunding options through sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But where can these designers sell the things they build?

That’s where Tindie comes in. The company wants to be a marketplace to connect the world’s small hardware businesses with customers all over the world. The site has been called the Etsy for electronics, hardware hackers, and DIY projects.

Tindie already has makers on every continent except Antarctica, with hundreds of listed products, from 3D printing kits to robots and cameras. My favourite product? Definitely the robot that plays Angry Birds.

Tindie was developed by Emile Petrone, who has worked at Urban Airship, Yelp, and Redbeacon. In April 2012, Emile posted the initial idea for Tindie on Reddit and received resounding support from the community.

This hardware revolution is still in the very early stages, and we are thrilled to be helping Emile and Julia build a marketplace that gives small hardware businesses the same distribution opportunities as the big players.

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