ICON, an Austin-based construction technologies company, has raised $9 million in seed funding to build custom 3D printed homes in less than 24 hours. In partnership with New Story, a San Francisco-based, Y-Combinator backed nonprofit, Icon wants to end homelessness by building sustainable communities using proprietary 3D printing robotics, software and advanced materials.
The partners have developed a method for printing a single-story 600-square-foot house out of cement in only 12 to 24 hours for just $4,000. In March 2018, ICON unveiled its first 3D printer and unveiled the first 3D-printed home in the U.S. to receive a building permit in Austin, Texas. ICON wants to use the funds to further its mission to revolutionize homebuilding through robotics and 3D printing and to bring affordable, resilient and sustainable homes to people across the world.
“It’s our mission at ICON to re-imagine the approach to homebuilding and construction and make affordable, dignified housing available to everyone throughout the world,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. “We’re in the middle of a global housing crisis and making old approaches a little better is not solving the problem. We couldn’t be happier with the team of global investors who are supporting ICON in our belief that the homebuilding industry needs a complete paradigm shift.”
The $9M seed round is led by Oakhouse Partners, with additional investors including D.R. Horton, the largest homebuilder by volume in the U.S. since 2002; Emaar, the largest developer in the Middle East and creator of the tallest building in the world; Capital Factory, Texas’ premier start-up accelerator; CAZ Investments; Cielo Property Group; Engage Ventures; MicroVentures; Saturn Five; Shadow Ventures; Trust Ventures; Verbena Road Holdings and Vulcan Capital among others.
"We're in the middle of a global housing crisis and making old approaches a little better is not solving the problem. It is ICON's belief that the homebuilding industry needs a complete paradigm shift." - Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON
Jason Portnoy, Managing Partner at Oakhouse Partners and former early executive at PayPal and Palantir Technologies, who has also invested in startups such as SpaceX, Carta and Zipline, said, “What the ICON team has accomplished in such a short period of time is not only a transformational breakthrough in homebuilding, it is an inspiration for the entire world to think outside the box about how humanity will confront the global housing crisis. Oakhouse Partners invests in companies that apply innovative technologies to radically improve millions of lives. ICON demonstrates this perfectly through their advanced construction technologies, and we’re proud to support them on this important mission.”
The next step for ICON is to deliver strategic, signature projects in the U.S. and abroad including continued work with the non-profit, New Story. The second generation of the Vulcan 3D printer is also underway and will be unveiled in 2019. The company did not disclose the size of its current workforce, but said it plans to expand its team with numerous technical roles including robotics, advanced materials and software engineering.
Posted in 3D Printing Application