The news: Modulous, a construction tech startup that features a software platform for architects to design multifamily homes using a prefabricated kit of parts, raised $11.5 million.
The tech: The startup’s software automates planning for multifamily home design. Developers, architects and contractors can use the tech to determine the viability of a location for a home and its costs. It also provides a proprietary kit-of-parts, which are prebuilt building blocks that developers use to assemble the homes, similar to a life-sized Lego set. This process, the company says, is not only fast but sustainable, lowering the production time while reducing embodied carbon and construction waste.
“Building energy efficient, affordable housing without the waste and carbon footprint that accompanies traditional construction has never been more critical,” CEO and co-founder Chris Bone said in a statement. “Modular delivery is really the only way the housing crisis can be resolved, but, for many, the upfront capital investment has held back the industry’s ability to scale.”
The team: Modulous was founded in London in 2018. It is led by Bone, who previously led an engineering consulting firm in London and Dubai, and Managing Director Janet Stephenson, who worked as a sales leader for off-site manufacturing giant Katerra. Sam Gioia was hired to lead the U.S. manufacturing and assembly team and is based in Colorado. The 58-person startup has a London and Seattle-based headquarters, with five employees in Seattle.
The competition: There are a number of startups going after the prefabricated building market, each with their own approach. Seattle-based Blokable describes itself as a “vertically integrated modular developer” that prefabricates a variety of high-tech structures in a warehouse to expedite building time and lower costs. Abodu meanwhile focuses on pre-permitted detached accessory dwelling units, delivering them to properties across California and the Pacific Northwest.
The funders: The Series A round includes participation from SFV, the venture arm of German real estate developer Patrizia; Regal London; CEMEX Ventures, the venture arm of construction giant CEMEX; Blackhorn Ventures, GroundBreak Ventures; Goldacre; and Leela Capital.
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