Sam Gioia, a real estate and semiconductor manufacturing veteran, joins as Head of U.S. Manufacturing & Assembly
SEATTLE, Sept. 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Modulous, a Seattle and London-based construction technology company helping developers and construction firms build modular housing without capital intensive factories, has raised $11.5 million of Series A funding to further grow its physical and digital technologies. The funds were raised from investors that include SFV, the venture arm of German real estate developer Patrizia, Regal London, one of the U.K.'s best-regarded real estate developers, CEMEX Ventures, the venture arm of construction giant CEMEX, Blackhorn Ventures (U.S.), GroundBreak Ventures (Canada), Goldacre (U.K.), and Leela Capital (U.K.). The funding is a rare example of a tech firm increasing its valuation as global markets slide – a testament to growing interest in companies that help decarbonize the real estate and construction industries.
The Modulous software platform automates multifamily real estate project design, costing, and programming – meaning developers, architects, and contractors can figure out pricing and decide whether a site is viable in hours, not weeks. In addition, Modulous has developed a configurable Kit of Parts, which is a set of proprietary sub-assembles that allows developers, architects, and contractors to build modular homes without a fixed factory. The company's end-to-end platform enables 50% faster project delivery, 60% reduction in embodied carbon, and 70% reduction in construction waste.
Modulous also announced today that it has appointed Sam Gioia as Head of U.S. Manufacturing & Assembly. Gioia will oversee the successful U.S. market delivery of the company's modular Kit of Parts for the construction of residential multifamily housing. His role is to develop and manage the firm's supply chain partners that provide the Kit of Parts, and to ensure the physical product's manufacturability.
An Integrated Physical and Digital Solution for Net-Zero Multifamily Housing
With a world-class team from the likes of Microsoft, Google, Katerra, Ramboll, 3i, WeWork, Rolls Royce, and Netflix, Modulous has developed a software platform that works in concert with the Kit of Parts to solve major pain points across the three core areas of the home-building process:
Architecture and design – Modulous' software generates optimized designs and massing for a site and bases these on its physical Kit of Parts. This not only guarantees the technical feasibility of the design, but also provides accurate costs and schedule, all completed in hours. Architects can avoid spending weeks on speculative work, designing schemes that may turn out to not be economically viable, and instead present clients with a variety of options inside a day, upping their chances of winning work while letting them focus on more productive tasks.
Construction – Modulous' Kit of Parts enables general contractors to deliver multi-story apartment blocks with no upfront investment. Instead of requiring complex and costly factories, Modulous' established supply chain partners deliver sub-assemblies to assembly facilities near site, increasing margin, employing local labor, and improving working capital efficiency.
Development – The Modulous platform produces 3D visualizations and detailed cost plans, and it will provide developers a real-time analysis of return-on-investment calculations, enabling them to quickly option sites and establish land values driven by accurate data.
Modulous' supply chain partners have focused their collaboration on continuously reducing the number of components required, similarly to the approach previously taken by the automotive and aviation industries. By tracking each of these components, it will be possible to measure and calculate the accurate carbon content of a scheme, and to ensure the use of healthy, non-toxic materials.
Chris Bone, CEO at Modulous, said:
"Building energy efficient, affordable housing without the waste and carbon footprint that accompanies traditional construction has never been more critical. 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. We are keen to prove that by collaborating with each other, the industry can move forward with transparency and cost certainty front and center. That's why we are delighted to have completed this Series A round in the most testing funding environment for decades. It's a testament to the potential we have to solve the housing crisis and to the amazing team we have built."
Sam Gioia, Head of U.S. Manufacturing & Assembly, said:
"The AEC industry is at an inflection point where we are just beginning to see the advantages of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). The U.S. urgently needs more housing, a clear pathway to net-zero development, and an approach to home-building that enhances communities by integrating new construction seamlessly with the surrounding environment. MMC enables all three goals by standardizing processes to gain manufacturing efficiencies, and by providing modularity in the form of interchangeable variations for wall panels, flooring, and finishes. The Modulous Kit of Parts allows a housing project to be rendered in digital 3D before being manifested physically, which means that project partners can pre-emptively solve all the issues that would normally delay a construction project."
Conan Lauterpacht, Partner at Sustainable Future Ventures, said:
"We are very pleased to back the outstanding Modulous team, which brings together experts across design, construction, and technology. Modulous stands out for us in the way it has brought together the physical and the digital in the built environment by combining its ground-breaking 'Kit of Parts' modular solution with a digital design platform. We are excited to support the company's mission to reinvent the way homes are delivered while prioritizing better outcomes for people and planet."
Jonathan Seal, CEO at Regal London, said:
"We are delighted to be participating in this funding round and entering into a strategic relationship with Modulous. We believe that Modulous is making great strides to truly disrupt the real estate industry as the sector moves towards delivering net zero developments. We are thrilled to be partnering with Modulous, bringing together Regal London's fully integrated delivery model and Modulous' technological innovation – we are excited to be part of this journey."
Philip O'Connor, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Blackhorn Ventures, said:
"Construction, an industry largely unchanged for more than 100 years, is ripe for evolution. Much like the transportation and energy industries, sector-specific innovation relies on a blend of digital and physical technologies that improve productivity and accelerate a net-zero future. Modulous' low-capex, asset-light approach has significant scalability potential, which is why Blackhorn Ventures is so excited to invest in this world-class team."
Mateo Zimmermann, Investment Manager at CEMEX Ventures, said:
"We're taking bold steps to try and decarbonize construction and house building. Precision-engineering homes offsite is an important way to drive up quality, reduce safety problems, and cut carbon all at once. Modulous' 'asset-light' approach – that goes direct to suppliers – strips out the need for costly factories, one of the biggest barriers to making offsite manufacturing a mass-market solution. These are universal challenges, and we firmly support the approach of forging partnerships with all relevant stakeholders in the market to solve it together."
Liam Poole, Head of Marketing at Knauf UK & Ireland
"We came on board as an early supply-chain partner because Modulous has built an inspired solution to some of the biggest pain points in construction and development. Their technology removes many of the inefficiencies which, for too long, have stifled innovation, and better promotes demonstratable decarbonized design and build. The future of construction is changing, the U.K. Government, through its purchasing power are driving Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) such as offsite / modular to help improve safety, improved productivity, quality, and sustainability. Our values."
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