3D-printed robotics can be used to create single-family homes in the community for homeless people. NASA is developing construction systems for habitats and infrastructure on Mars and the Moon. __S.2__
These are only a few of the many things ICON, a construction tech startup based in Austin Texas has been involved with. __S.4__
And today, the company is adding a massive $207 million Series B raise to its list of accomplishments.
I have been following ICON’s $9 million seed round since October 2018, and it is quite cool to see the company achieve this landmark less than three years later. __S.7__
Norwest Venture Partners was the lead investor in ICON’s Series B round. Other participants included 8VC, BjarkeIngels Group (BIG), BOND and Citi Crosstimbers. Ensemble, Fifth Wall LENx, Moderne Ventures, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Moderne Ventures, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Oakhouse Partners, Moderne Ventures Ventures Ventures, Moderne Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures, LENx, Moderne Ventures, Moderne Ventures, Moderne Ventures Ventures, Ventures Ventures, Ventures Ventures, Ventures Ventures Ventures, Ventures Ventures Ventures Ventures, Ventures Ventures, Ventures and Moderne Ventures ICON now has $266 million in equity. It declined to disclose its value.
ICON was established in late 2017, and it launched at SXSW 2018 in March 2018. It produced the first 3D-printed house in America. The 350-square foot home took approximately 48 hours to print (at 25 percent speed). __S.12__
The startup claims it has shipped more than 20 3D-printed structures and homes across Mexico and the U.S. since then. Over half of these homes were for homeless people or chronically poor. ICON, a nonprofit partner, delivered 3D-printed homes to Mexico in 2020. The nonprofit Mobile Loaves & Fishes also helped to build a number of houses for the chronically homeless people in Austin, Texas.
In early 2021, the startup entered the mainstream housing market with the sale of what they claimed were the first 3D printed homes in America for 3Strands Austin. __S.18__ On August 31, the remaining homes go on sale. __S.20__
ICON recently unveiled its next generation Vulcan construction system, and introduced its Exploration Series homes. “House Zero,” the first house in this series, was specifically optimized for 3D printing.
ICON’s proprietary Vulcan technology, according to Ballard, produces homes that are more energy efficient and resilient than traditional construction techniques. It also allows for greater design flexibility and less waste. Ballard claims that the company’s Vulcan construction system can be 3D printed homes and structures of up to 3,000 sq. feet. It is 1.5x bigger and 2x more efficient than previous Vulcan 3D printers.
Ballard maintained that ICON was founded because of the worldwide housing crisis. He believes that 3D printing, robotics, and advanced materials are one solution to the problem of low-cost housing. This is a growing issue in Austin and across the nation.
ICON has a list of future plans that includes the delivery of social and disaster relief, Ballard stated. In addition, Ballard explained how they are developing systems for construction to build infrastructure on Mars and Mars.
ICON has also two projects in the works with NASA. NASA recently announced Mars Dune Alpha. ICON and BIG just made the announcement. ICON has printed the wall system, and it is now up on the roof. NASA has begun recruiting crewed missions for nextfFall, which will allow them to experience the 3D-printed Martian habitat.
Project Olympus is ICON’s attempt to create a space-based building system that will allow future explorations of the Moon, and for “imagining humanity’s home in another planet.”
Ballard stated that the goal was to get ICON technology on the Moon within the next ten years.
Ballard stated that the greatest change since last August’s $35M Series A was the “radical increase in the demand for 3D printed homes and structures.”
TechCrunch’s Ballard said that “one metric is a lot” for him. These houses must be desired by people.”
The world must address the problem of housing scarcity It is necessary to improve supply, reduce cost, speed up, and increase resilience, all while maintaining beauty and quality.
He said that while there may be a number of approaches to accomplish some of these things, only 3D printing at construction scale has the potential for all.
According to Ballard, ICON has experienced impressive financial growth. Its revenue has increased by 400% almost every year since its inception. The company has also increased its staff by more than 100 people in just the last year. The company expects to increase its size by at least a third in the coming year.
Series B funding will be used to further construction of 3D-printed houses, “rapid scale and R&D,” more space-based tech advances and “a lasting societal effect on housing problems,” Ballard stated.
Ballard stated that “We believe we will be delivering thousands of homes per year and on our way to tens of thousands more every year” in early-stage manufacturing. We believe that we can deliver thousands of homes each year in the next five-years, and we are well on our way to producing tens or thousands per year span>
Norwest Venture Partners’ Managing Partner Jeff Crowe joined ICON’s Board of Directors as part the funding. He said that his company believes that ICON’s 3D printing construction technology “massively impacts the housing shortage in America and across the globe.”
Crowe stated that it is difficult to combine advanced robotics and materials science with software in order to create a strong 3D printing technology. __S.47__
He wrote that it was still difficult to create the technology so that hundreds of thousands of homes can be built in different geographies. ICON is a breakthrough, successful generation span company that has accomplished all of this.
Publiated at Tue 24 August 2021 12:32.06 +0000