Constance Freedman of Moderne Ventures and Khan Tasinga of Palantir Join ICON's Board of Directors and World-renowned Architecture Firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group Among New Investors
AUSTIN, TX, AUGUST 19, 2020 – ICON, developer of advanced construction technologies including robotics, software, and building materials, today announced it has completed a $35M series A round of financing led by Moderne Ventures. The company also welcomes Constance Freedman, Founder and Managing Partner of Moderne Ventures and Khan Tasinga, Director at Palantir Technologies, to its Board of Directors. Notably, the international architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group joined the series A round of investors, which also includes CAZ Investments, Citi, Crosstimbers Ventures, Ironspring Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, Oakhouse Partners, Trust Ventures, Vulcan Capital and Wavemaker Partners.
“Traditional building and construction techniques have not improved since B.C., they have only become more expensive,” said Constance Freedman, Founder and Managing Partner at Moderne Ventures. “The results are vast deltas in affordability, limitations on design and both time and efficiency challenges. I believe we will see an evolution of the entire home-buying value chain, especially when integrated with other technologies like digital transactions and augmented reality. Consumers will be able to order, build, design and purchase a brand-new home in a matter of days--something that’s truly innovative and truly disruptive. We are excited to support ICON as it continues to change the world.”
“In early 2018, there were no 3D-printed homes in North America and today, there are almost twenty and we’re gearing up for hundreds more,” said Jason Ballard, Co-founder and CEO of ICON. “We anticipate more high-velocity progress in the years ahead to help bring housing and construction into the modern world and in-line with humanity’s highest hopes. The present challenges the world is facing due to new coronavirus have only emphasized the tremendous gap between the housing that we have and the housing that we need. We are grateful to those who have believed in our mission from the beginning and are excited to have a larger team of global investors joining us in our belief that the housing of our future must be different than the housing we have known.”
"We believe additive manufacturing will play a transformative role in the future of construction and with our investment and partnership with ICON we can contribute actively to this ongoing transformation,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group. “With ICON we are pioneering new frontiers – both materially, technologically and environmentally – so putting some skin in the game became inevitable. The design industry has become revolutionized through the adoption of Computer Aided Design and Building Information Management. Regardless of how digital the documentation has become, designs still get built practically the same way as always. Robotic manufacturing will enable us to eliminate the loss in translation from data to matter and allow us to fabricate homes at great speed, with less waste, and with higher accuracy than today.”
The investment brings ICON’s total funding since launching its revolutionary technology to $44 million. ICON announced $9 million in seed funding led by Oakhouse Partners in October 2018. Seed round investors included Cielo Property Group, D.R. Horton and Emaar among others. ICON’s new round of funding will accelerate the development of its printers, create a variety of home types and designs and enhance its core technology stack to further its mission of using advanced construction technologies to advance humanity.
ICON unveiled its first 3D printer and successfully secured a building permit and printed a home in Austin, Texas in March 2018. ICON’s journey to transform building continued in 2019 with the launch of its next generation Vulcan technology stack and delivery of strategic, signature projects in the U.S. and Mexico. In 2020, ICON continued to deliver resilient, dignified 3D-printed homes in Mexico alongside nonprofit partner, New Story, completed a series of homes serving the chronically homeless in Austin, TX with nonprofit Mobile Loaves & Fishes at Community First! Village and forged a partnership with the Defense Innovation Unit and United States Marine Corps to train Marines to operate its technology and complete a field demonstration print at Camp Pendleton. Additional projects will break ground this year and new partnerships will be announced in the coming months. The Austin-based start-up will be expanding their team with numerous roles across robotics, off-planet construction, materials science, software engineering, architecture, building science and operations.