Icon has raised $9 million in seed funding to build custom 3D-printed homes in less than 24 hours. In partnership with nonprofit New Story, the company wants to fight homelessness in the developing world.
The partners already built a permitted 3D-printed home in Austin, Texas in early 2018. Icon wants to use the new funds to further its mission of revolutionizing homebuilding through robotics, software, and advanced materials. Its long-term goal is to make affordable, resilient, and sustainable homes 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, CEO of Austin-based Icon, in a statement. “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.”
Oakhouse Partners led the round, with additional investors including Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Paul Allen (who sadly died this week); 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 startup accelerator; CAZ Investments; Cielo Property Group; Engage Ventures; Saturn Five; Shadow Ventures; MicroVentures; Trust Ventures; and Verbena Road Holdings.
“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,” said Jason Portnoy, managing partner at Oakhouse Partners, in a statement. “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 nonprofit organization New Story. The second generation of the Vulcan printer is also underway and will be unveiled in 2019. Icon will also be expanding its team through numerous technical roles, including robotics, advanced materials, and software engineering.