The/Studio, an on-demand, custom manufacturing platform for product development based in Los Angeles, raised $11 million in a strategic Series A round led by Ignition Partners. Additional investors include FJ Labs, VTF, WTI, Firebolt Ventures and Interplay Ventures. Preeti Rathi from Ignition Partners, Chris Hicken and Greg McCurley will join the board.
The/Studio offers users, regardless of size, the ability to create products through custom manufacturing. Customers manage the process from custom design to production using advanced technology and a network of vetted factories worldwide.
“The/Studio is the first solution for quick cloud-based access to custom manufactured products without having to deal with the costs and risks of building out a supply chain,” said The/Studio founder and CEO Joseph Heller. “Manufacturing a product is still extremely complicated, and traditional supply chain teams were not set up to support the quick turnaround times and small-batch requirements of modern retail. Big box retail is being replaced with pop-up stores, limited edition e-commerce offerings and millions of new brands. There is now an incessant race to get products to market quicker, to pinpoint customer demand with data and to be nimble enough to scale accordingly.”
The/Studio currently has over 100,000 customers on its platform from large corporations such as Nike, Live Nation and Urban Outfitters to companies in the middle such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store and The Mountain. They also support emerging runway brands, long tail makers and creators. According to Heller, The/Studio has already facilitated the design and production of over 32 million products including apparel, accessories and promotional items.
“Proceeds from The Met Store support The Met’s collection, study, conservation and presentation of 5,000 years of art. A vast collection and rigorous schedule of exhibitions demand that we work efficiently and closely manage our development costs to maximize profit and offer our customer the right products at the right time,” said Leanne Graeff, The Met’s senior product designer. “The/Studio allows us to diversify our retail offerings at scale by leveraging their self-service dashboard to place orders for custom manufactured products.”
The/Studio is starting off by focusing on the fashion manufacturing industry, which Heller notes is a trillion dollar global industry. Eventually he hopes that The/Studio can even provide an on-demand manufacturing solution for more complicated products such as furniture and consumer electronics.
“Of all the problems that remain unsolved within fashion supply chain, digital transformation is one of the most complicated and consequential,” said Preeti Rathi, partner at Ignition Partners. “The/Studio has an unparalleled technology platform that simplifies supply chain and offers agility and nimbleness–something that is a must-have for brands in today’s age of social media. We’re thrilled to support Joseph and partner with the The/Studio team.”
The/Studio now has offices in China, Romania, Philippines, Los Angeles and San Francisco. More information is available at thestudio.com/.