buyers and sellers

3D Interest: Shapeways Tops Fast-Risers in SecondMarket Fourth Quarter Report

Do those stock certificates come in 3D?

SM rising 4qShapeways attracted lots of eyeballs in the fourth quarter of last year, and not just for stunts like this. According to a report from SecondMarket, the 3D printing marketplace gained interest on SecondMarket’s private stock market at the fastest clip, as the number of investors following the company grew more than five-fold in the last three months of 2012.

Hardware and IT company Nimble Storage was the second hottest company on the platform in terms of investor interest, while Good Technology placed in the top five for the second consecutive quarter. Getable and Transcriptic, meanwhile, two companies included in SecondMarket’s new partnership with AngelList, were among companies gaining new traction on the platform.

Also in the report: Software and consumer electronics firms accounted for a combined majority of companies the private stock market in 2012, as the platform, which first gained widespread attention as a favorite platform for trading pre-IPO Facebook shares, continued to move beyond its social media roots.

But if software and consumer electronics firms combined for more than 60 percent of companies listed, investors are still prospecting for the next social media goldmine: According to the SecondMarket report, buyside demand for consumer web and social media companies topped $2 billion, outpacing the software and gaming category, which placed second in investor interest at $191 million, and mobile, which ranked third at $100 million.

Meanwhile, SecondMarket reminded startups that there’s more than one way to keep their workers happy:

From catered lunches and free massages to in-house yoga and dog-friendly offices, startups showcase their love for their employees in countless ways, all with the ultimate goal of keeping morale and productivity high at the organization.

But if founders really want to keep overworked employees content, there’s nothing like a little bit of liquidity.

Follow Patrick Clark on Twitter or via RSS. pclark@observer.com