Mantle secures $20 million in Series C funding to support market expansion

July 11, 2024

Mantle’s TrueShape metal Additive Manufacturing process in action (Courtesy Mantle)
Mantle’s TrueShape metal Additive Manufacturing process in action (Courtesy Mantle)

Mantle Inc, San Francisco, California, USA, has announced that it has secured $20 million in Series C funding, raising the company’s total funding to more than $61.5 million. The latest funding round will support Mantle’s rapid market expansion, scaling manufacturing to meet demand, and developing new capabilities and materials.

Led by private investment firm Schooner Capital, the round was also joined by the Mantle’s largest existing investors, including Fine Structure Ventures, Foundation Capital, Corazon Capital, 11.2 Capital, and Build Collective.

“Mantle is poised to revolutionise the global tooling industry,” stated Alexandra Manick, Principal of Schooner Capital. “The company’s advanced manufacturing platform, TrueShape, is proven to deliver significant cost savings and, more importantly, unprecedented speed for its customers. This paradigm-shifting solution is readily adoptable and sorely needed to address persistent skilled labour shortages and accelerate product development timelines for industrial toolmakers and OEMs worldwide.”

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Reshoring with Additive Manufacturing

The recent push towards reshoring manufacturing back to the United States has highlighted the need for solutions which address labour shortages, whilst reducing costs and improving production efficiencies.

“The fragile state of the global supply chain has triggered a massive reshoring initiative that sharply increased the demand for molded parts and thus toolmaking,” stated Ted Sorom, CEO and co-founder of Mantle. “We’re navigating a twin set of hurdles: a toolmaking workforce in the US that has shrunk by half over the past quarter-century, coupled with the rising costs and extended lead times brought on by constrained toolmaking capacities. This has driven manufacturers to seek out groundbreaking solutions. For our innovative customers, the adoption of Mantle’s tooling technology has emerged as a key strategy to enhance labour productivity, cut expenses, and drastically shorten lead times.”

Heyco Products operating its Mantle machine (left). Heyco-printed tool for a deep-ribbed consumer product (right). (Courtesy Heyco Products)
Heyco Products operating its Mantle machine (left). Heyco-printed tool for a deep-ribbed consumer product (right). (Courtesy Heyco Products)

Easing labour scarcity of toolmakers

Amid a severe labour shortage of toolmakers and skilled tradespeople plaguing the manufacturing industry – fuelled by a workforce nearing retirement and surging demand for the tooling essential for everyday products – manufacturers are turning towards automation and technology to navigate these workforce obstacles.

Heyco Products, a US-based manufacturer of wire protection products and electrical components, deployed Mantle technology for its in-house molding and toolmaking capabilities.

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“We purchased a Mantle system for two reasons: to reduce time-to-market for our products and to make our toolroom more efficient while attracting next-generation talent to Heyco,” commented Danny Anthony, Heyco’s Vice President of Operations. “By using Mantle to print mold tooling, we have already brought a new product to market two months faster than we would have otherwise. We also increased the throughput in our toolroom by giving our toolmakers access to the latest technology that makes them significantly more productive.”

This Heyco mold for a wire management product was manufactured using Mantle Additive Manufacturing technology (Courtesy Heyco Products)
This Heyco mold for a wire management product was manufactured using Mantle Additive Manufacturing technology (Courtesy Heyco Products)

Positioned for growth in tooling needs

Mantle has had a year marked by double-digit growth in shipments. The company’s metal Additive Manufacturing technology is designed specifically to build injection molding tools, and is said to reduce the time and cost needed to fabricate high-quality mold and dies whilst automating tool production and reducing the dependence on scarce skilled labour.

By focusing on building tools for mass production rather than the parts themselves, Mantle has worked to tackle the issues of high costs and lengthy production times associated with tool creation for mass production. This strategic shift has resulted in cost reductions for customers reportedly exceeding 65% and accelerated manufacturers’ development cycles by up to 90%.

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