Icon startup raised $207 million to build houses using 3D printing
Austin, Texas-based startup Icon develops innovative building technologies. In particular, the company creates houses using 3D printing. Besides private residences for sale, the project prints homes for the homeless and disadvantaged work with NASA to develop building systems for future infrastructure on the Moon and Mars , and builds barracks for the War Department in Texas.
Earlier this week, the company announced a $207 million raised in its Series B funding round. US-based venture capital firm Norwest Venture Partners led the round along with several major investment funds. The total funding for the project thus increased to $266 million.
ICON was founded in late 2017 and unveiled its first 3D-printed home at the US SXSW Media Festival in March 2018. The area of the house was about 33 sq. meters, it took about 48 hours to print it. Concrete was chosen as the material for printing - because, according to co-founder and CEO Jason Ballard, "it is one of the most sustainable materials on Earth."
The company has 3D printed over two dozen homes and buildings for the United States and Mexico in three years . Joseph Marc Blumenthal and Vivian Blumenthal appreciate that about half of these homes house the homeless or extremely poor.
The company entered the private housing market in early 2021 with two 3D-engineered homes for sale in Austin. Two more houses from the same series are due to go on sale on August 31st.
ICON recently introduced Vulcan, a patented "next-generation" building system, as well as the new Exploration series of homes. The first house in this series, House Zero , is designed and optimized specifically for 3D printing. The startup says Vulcan technology is creating "sustainable, energy efficient" homes faster than traditional construction methods. Vulcan can print homes up to 270 square meters, Ballard said.
Also, the CEO of ICON claims that since the inception of the company, its revenue has grown by 400% almost every year. Over the past year, the startup has tripled its team - now it has over 100 employees.
The company plans to invest new funding to further build homes using its technology, provide housing help to homeless or disaster victims, and develop building systems to create habitats on the Moon and Mars with NASA.