Arris Composites, a startup working on next-generation composites manufacturing, closed $48.5 millions in series B funding and will be expanding its proprietary composite manufacturing capabilities and opening facilities in the U.S. and Taiwan, the latter to serve the demand of the consumer electronics industry.
The round was led by Taiwania Capital with participation from return investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA), which led Arris Composites’ $10M Series A round in January 2019, alongside Valo Ventures and Alumni Ventures Group (AVG).
Carl Bass, the former Autodesk CEO, will join the board of directors as an independent board member. Carl has been involved with Arris since 2017 as an angel investor, advisor and research collaborator while the company incubated in his personal machine shop.
“Since we began working with Arris Composites in 2018, we’ve been impressed with the maturation of their manufacturing technology and the intense interest and enthusiasm we’ve seen from top brands in the consumer, automotive, aerospace and other industries in leveraging Arris’ manufacturing methods for next-gen, not-yet-released products,” explains Greg Papadopoulos, Venture Partner, NEA and former Chief Technology Officer, Sun Microsystems. “High-performance composites that can be mass-produced in new ways hold incredible promise for all kinds of products.”
Carbon fiber for the masses
Founded in 2017, Arris Composites enables the mass-production of high-strength and light-weight composite parts through its proprietary Additive Molding™ manufacturing technology. With this new process, advanced carbon fiber materials can be produced at the same speed as plastic molded products. To unlock the potential for customers, Arris has developed unique tools for in-house design collaboration and application engineering teams. Now customers can design and produce previously impossible products that are highly integrated and stronger and lighter than metals.
Arris Composites’ technology has wide applications across multiple markets where new product designs and architectures are now possible. Customers in consumer, automotive, industrial, aerospace, and transportation industries are advancing programs to take advantage of the revolutionary capabilities to make products lighter, stronger and smarter. Industrial and automotive applications seek corrosion-proof, high-strength and durable glass fiber and carbon fiber structures. And top consumer and sporting goods brands are seeking new commercial advantages by elevating product performance and differentiation.
A design revolution
The fastest-growing market for Arris Composites is consumer electronics, where next-gen devices are being designed to be lighter, smaller and smarter. With a short product refresh cycle and fast pace of innovation, a portable electronic device is likely to be the first Arris manufactured product available to the public.
“When NEA introduced us to Taiwania Capital it was clear they had deep manufacturing expertise, as well as a track record scaling up new high-volume consumer electronics technologies,” said Ethan Escowitz, CEO and Founder of Arris Composites. “The alignment of our organizations was immediately evident and I knew they were an ideal partner to assist in scaling-up production for our consumer electronics customers.”
“What made Arris Composites appealing to us is their ability to make consumer electronics products that were simply not possible with previous manufacturing technologies,” said Huang Lee, Managing Partner at Taiwania Capital and Arris Composites Board Member. “Despite major advances in the electronics within portable devices, the structures have not changed very much, until Arris.”
Composites have a history of major reductions in fuel consumption due to their lightweight; however, recyclability has been a problem. Arris Composites employs a new generation of recyclable composites and has developed a novel method of designing products with the end in mind so the waste stream from today’s products becomes the feedstock for future products.