20 Skyrocketing Mechanical Engineering Startups (2021)

by Josh Howarth - August 9, 2021

The mechanical engineering industry in the US racked up $345 billion in revenue last year.

That, coupled with the global market shares of other countries, shows that this diverse sector is experiencing noteworthy growth.

There are many companies that are using cutting-edge tech to not just revolutionize this industry, but the whole world.

We’ve rounded up some of the fastest-growing mechanical engineering startups to follow in 2021 (and beyond).

1. Shield AI

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5-year search growth: 188%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: San Diego, CA

Funding: $138.1M (Series C)

What they do: Shield AI provides artificial intelligence solutions intended to protect civilians and service members. Specifically, their AI tech is designed to enable unmanned aircraft to behave and maneuver like humans. In 2020, Fast Company recognized Shield AI as one of the most innovative robotics companies. They also made it to Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies.

2. Swytch

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5-year search growth: 928%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: London, UK

Funding: $1.4M (Seed)

What they do: An electro-mechanical startup, Swytch manufactures and sells kits designed to convert regular bicycles into electric bikes. According to their website, their kits are compatible with a wide range of bicycles. So far, bicycles powered by Swytch kits have been collectively ridden for over 1 million miles. In 2019, the startup hit $1 million in sales in 30 days.

3. DASH Systems

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5-year search growth: 240%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2019

Location: Hawthorne, CA

Funding: $8M (Seed)

What they do: An aerospace startup, DASH Systems provides precision airdrop solutions (in other words, delivering cargo to areas that are inaccessible.) Their tech consists of guidance systems and mechanical components that control the trajectory of cargo dropped from an aircraft. DASH Systems raised $8 million in seed funding in 2020, securing investments from 8VC, Tusk Venture Partners, and MiLA Capital.

4. Valispace

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Bremen, Germany

Funding: $3.7M (Seed)

What they do: Valispace offers browser-based software designed to help engineers develop satellites, launch vehicles, and other similar machinery. Their software centralizes and manages dynamic engineering data, potentially acting as a single source of truth for teams working on a project. Valispace won the Europas 2021 Award in the space tech category.

5. Ingrid Cloud

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5-year search growth: -100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Funding: $5.2M (Series Unknown)

What they do: A computer-aided engineering startup, Ingrid Cloud offers wind simulation solutions for engineers and architects. Their product is available as a SaaS product. With applications in automotive, aerospace, HVAC, and more, the platform is designed to show the effects of wind flow on product design. In 2019, Ingrid Cloud secured €2.4 million ($2.8 million) in funding from Fairpoint Capital and Industrifonden.

6. Traptic

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5-year search growth: 1000%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Mountain View, CA

Funding: $8.4M (Series A)

What they do: Traptic manufactures and sells large farming robots. The startup’s goal is to tackle the growing shortage of labor in the farming industry with automation. Their current product line is mainly used for harvesting strawberries. Traptic recently raised $5 million in series A funding from K9 Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and Homebrew Ventures.

7. Boston Materials

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5-year search growth: 33%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2016

Location: Billerica, MA

Funding: $14.4M (Series A)

What they do: A materials science startup, Boston Materials specializes in carbon composites. The composites that the company fabricates are used in the manufacturing of a wide range of mechanical structures, including aircraft, wind turbines, and ebikes. It’s estimated that Boston Materials earns $25M in annual revenue.

8. eFOLDi

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5-year search growth: 1633%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2009

Location: London, UK

Funding: $4.9M (Series Unknown)

What they do: eFOLDi manufactures foldable mobility scooters. The company’s product line includes two lightweight folding scooters, including the “eFOLDi Lite” and “eFOLDi MK 1.5 Scooter.” They also offer a power chair, which, according to their website, is ideal for traveling. In 2016, eFOLDi won the British Invention of the Year award at the Gadget Show Live.

9. Starship Technologies

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5-year search growth: 143%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: San Francisco, CA

Funding: $99.2M (Series Unknown)

What they do: A robotics startup, Starship Technologies builds fleets of autonomous robots that can deliver goods. Their robots are designed to complete curb-side deliveries within 30 minutes. According to the company, Starship Technologies has successfully completed 1,500,000 autonomous deliveries to date.

10. Oxford Flow

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5-year search growth: 25%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Oxford, UK

Funding: $19.2M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Oxford Flow manufactures industrial pressure valves. Their pressure control technology has applications in various industries like oil and gas, water, and power generation. The company claims that their valve equipment can potentially improve safety, efficiency, and cost-optimization. In 2020, Oxford Flows secured a £9.1M ($12.6M) investment from Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), The University of Oxford, and Parkwalk.

11. Diligent Robotics

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5-year search growth: 3100%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Austin, TX

Funding: $17.9M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Diligent Robotics builds autonomous, AI-powered robots. They currently offer a robot called “Moxi,” which has been designed to assist hospital staff with different activities. According to their website, their robot has successfully completed over 23,500 tasks.

12. Vantage Power

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5-year search growth: 320%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2011

Location: Greenford, UK

Funding: $4.4M (Series Unknown)

What they do: An electrification startup, Vantage Power develops hybrid powertrains for heavy vehicles. Their powertrains can be easily retrofitted to buses and trucks. In addition, they also offer IoT telemetry for heavy-duty vehicles as a PaaS and SaaS. According to the latest estimates, Vantage Power earns up to $25M in estimated annual revenue.

13. Treo Engineering

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5-year search growth: 100%

Search growth status: Peaked

Year founded: 2009

Location: Pimpri, India

Funding: $1.3M (Private Equity)

What they do: Treo Engineering manufactures autonomous single-station car wash systems. In fact, they were the first company to introduce a touchless carwash in India. The company manufactures over 500 touchless car and bike washers per year.

14. Nuro

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5-year search growth: 310%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Mountain View, CA

Funding: $1.5B (Series C)

What they do: A robotics-focused mechanical engineering startup, Nuro builds autonomous electric-powered vehicles capable of conducting local deliveries. They cater to local commerce businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies. Nuro has already onboarded customers like Dominos, FedEx, Walmart, and more. In 2019, Fast Company recognized Nuro as an especially innovative company.

15. CloudNC

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5-year search growth: 0%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: London, UK

Funding: $32.8M (Series Unknown)

What they do: CloudNC offers automated manufacturing solutions. Specifically, they help build computerized numerical control (CNC) factories. With their tech, which includes robots powered by AI, they can automate the entire manufacturing process. The World Economic Forum recognized CloudNC as one of the Technology Pioneers for the cohort of 2021.

16. Berkshire Grey

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5-year search growth: 422%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2013

Location: Bedford, MA

Funding: $263M (Series B)

What they do: Berkshire Grey creates autonomous robotics solutions for eCommerce fulfillment, materials handling, and store replenishment. According to their website, their robots can potentially reduce overhead costs by 70%. Their systems are powered by technology like AI, machine learning, and computer vision. Berkshire Grey made it to Forbes’ 2021 list of America’s Best Startup Employers.

17. Volta Trucks

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5-year search growth: 7200%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Sigtuna, Sweden

Funding: $25M (Series A)

What they do: An automotive company, Volta Trucks specializes in electric trucks. Its fully electric heavy vehicles are intended to improve last-mile logistics through sustainability and improved safety. They are also the pioneers of the unique “truck as a service.” Earlier in 2021, Volta Trucks announced that the order book for their “Volta Zero” electric truck reached $260 million.

18. Velca

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5-year search growth: 150%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Madrid, Spain

Funding: $5.5M (Equity Crowdfunding)

What they do: Velca manufactures electric-powered motorcycles – scooters and mopeds – with swappable batteries. According to their website, they have the largest online following than any other EV brand in Europe. Velca has sold over 250 scooters so far. The startup estimates that they’ve helped save over 1.4 million kgs of CO2 with their vehicles.

19. nTopology

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5-year search growth: 455%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $70.2M (Series C)

What they do: nTopology is an engineering design software that can be used to conceptualize new product ideas with 3D modeling. Their platform offers an environment where engineers can not just create mechanical designs, but also share their workflows with team members. nTopology’s clientele includes companies like Lockheed Martin, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Wilson.

20. SimScale

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5-year search growth: 236%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2012

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: $60.3M (Series Unknown)

What they do: A 3D simulation company, SimScale provides a digital platform for product design. Mechanical design engineers can use their web-based software to see how products would potentially behave in real life. For this purpose, they use high-fidelity physics simulation technology. According to their website, over 200,000 scientists, engineers, and designers use SimScale’s platform.

Conclusion

That concludes our roundup of the best mechanical engineering startups to follow in 2021.

As the broadest field of engineering, mechanical engineering has many applications, which is evident from the diverse list of startups above.

Considering that, the need for disruptive mechanical engineering solutions – pioneered by new startups – will only continue to grow in the future.

Written By
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.
548 Market St. Suite 95149
San Francisco, California
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