citybiz+ The Lumber Manufactory Raises $4.1 Million to Build Sustainable Sawmills

The Lumber Manufactory has raised $4.1 million from unidentified investors in a seed funding round, according to a Reg D filing. According to the filing, 23 investors participated in the round, with the company setting a target of $6 million.

The stealth-mode startup, based in Washington, D.C., bids to build next-generation sawmilling technologies that can enable sustainable manufacturing of dimensional wood products. Limited information available on the company suggests it is developing sawmill design that is “modular, flexible, and fast.”

Lawyer, Rocket Man Team Up

The filing, as well as The Lumber Manufactory’s LinkedIn page, identifies three people linked to the startup. They are: co-founders Andrew Arsht and Michael Grasso, who also serves as the CEO; and board member Michael Parker.

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Both Arsht and Grasso have interesting backgrounds. Arsht earned a BA in Theology from Georgetown University and a joint degree from Harvard Law School. Most recently, he was an associate at the law firm of Foley & Lardner. He has previously clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, besides being pro bono counsel at the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia.

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Grasso studied Regional and Comparative Studies, and International Economic Development at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also studied Turkish language and literature in Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University under a scholarship from the U.S. Department of Education.

Early in his career, Grasso served the Luxembourg Space Agency as an economic adviser, and was director of corporate strategy at Jeff Bezos’ space firm Blue Origin. He later joined Adranos, a maker of solid rocket motors and solid rocket fuel. In 2023 Anduril Industries acquired Adranos. Grasso continues to work at Anduril, overseeing sales and strategy at the manufacturer of rocket motor systems.