ICON, a Texas-based construction tech company that made headlines earlier this year for its low-cost 3D printed home, has announced that it has raised a whopping $9 million in funding. The money, raised through a seed round led by Oakhouse Partners, will enable ICON to continue its mission of transforming construction using new technologies with the ultimakte goal of making housing more affordable, durable and sustainable.
It is no wonder that ICON has had such a successful seed funding round. When it teamed up with non-profit New Story earlier this year to 3D print a home for just $4,000. The house, which was unveiled in March in Austin, Texas quickly made headlines across the world and gained significant attention from the mainstream media.
Despite the hype, ICON’s technology and the 3D printed house it created with New Story are impressive. The prototype house in question was 3D printed in under 24 hours using ICON’s mobile construction 3D printer—the Vulcan—and cost less than $4,000 to make. Measuring 600-800 square feet, the compact home is built from cutting-edge materials which comply to safety and comfort standards and which are designed to be used in environments where there may be limited water, power, etc.).
ICON and New Story had already announced their plans to 3D print more low-cost homes in El Salvador, and with the recent $9 million investment, it will be interesting to see how quickly that comes to fruition and what other projects are on the horizon.
Aside from Oakhouse Partners which led the seed funding round, ICON also brought on investments from D.R. Horton (the largest homebuilder by volume in the U.S. for over 10 years), Emaar (the Middle East developer responsible for the tallest building in the world), Capital Factory (a Texas-based startup accelerator), CAZ Investments, Cielo Property Group, Engage Ventures, MicroVentures, Saturn Five, Shadow Ventures, Trust Ventures, Verbena Road Holdings and Vulcan Capital.
“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 and former early executive at PayPal and Palantir Technologies. “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.”
Jason Ballard, Co-Founder and CEO of ICON, added: “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. 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.”
According to ICON, its next big step will be to deliver strategic, signature housing projects within the U.S. and abroad and to continue its collaboration with New Story. On the hardware front, ICON also says it is working on the second generation of its Vulcan 3D printer, which is expected to be ready in early 2019. The $9M investment will also enable the Texas company to expand its team with more robotics, advanced materials and software engineering positions.