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A little known Seattle startup could do for metal what 3D printing is doing for other materials like plastic.

A Seattle startup has found a way to grow high performance metals in a cheap and energy efficient way, marking an important breakthrough for industries like construction, automotive, and oil and gas.

You can already find some of the metals from seven-year-old company Modumetal on oil rigs off of the Australian and African coasts, as well as the U.S., off of Texas. Those metals can withstand the ocean’s corrosive power for up to eight times longer than conventional materials, according to the company.

On Tuesday, Modumetal took a big step towards its goal of gaining a bigger market for its innovative recipe. The company said that it had raised $33.5 million in funding that will go to increasing production and sales along with developing new uses for its metals.

The funding was led by the Founders Fund, the firm co-created by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel that has previously invested in space cargo company SpaceX, room rental service Airbnb and data giant Palantir. Other investors include the venture arms of three oil big companies, Chevron Technology Ventures, BP Ventures and ConocoPhillips.

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