Icon, the Austin startup responsible for building the world’s first 3D-printed neighborhood in Mexico last year, announced this week it closed on a $35 million Series A round led by Moderne Ventures.
This round brings the company’s total funding raised to $44 million and will be used to move its 3D printing technology out of the research and development stage and into the hands of other companies, who can then print their own houses. These homes could be for sale in Texas as soon as next year, potentially revolutionizing the way Americans build and buy their homes to be more affordable and efficient.
“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,” Constance Freedman, founder and managing partner at Moderne Ventures, said in a statement. “Consumers will be able to order, build, design and purchase a brand-new home in a matter of days — something that is truly innovative and truly disruptive.”
So far, much of Icon’s work has been in the non-profit sector. In addition to building a small village of 3D-printed houses in Tabasco, a deeply impoverished Mexican state, the company also built the country’s first permitted 3D-printed home right here in Austin. A year later, it printed a neighborhood of houses for the city’s chronically homeless population. The company has also forged partnerships with the Department of Defense and the United States Marine Corps to train marines how to operate its technology for a structure at Camp Pendleton, a major base on the west coast.
While the company has been tight-lipped on the specifics, Icon says more projects will break ground this year and new partnerships will be announced in the coming months. Until then, the company is expanding its team, with numerous roles across areas like robotics “off-planet construction,” software engineering, architecture and building science.
CEO and co-founder Jason Ballard says that, while Icon works to move into the mainstream housing market and beyond, the company will continue working with non-profit organizations to build homes for those in need. The goal is to disrupt all areas of the building industry.
“New applications for the technology help to accelerate the work we’re able to do within the residential side,” Ballard told Built In via email. “Breakthroughs and innovations happen at an accelerated pace, and we believe the ripple effects will be felt across sectors. Entirely new designs and architectural advancements, improvements to the construction process, sustainable practices, and more possibilities become real because of the 3D printing technology Icon is developing.”