Construction tech firm raises £10m to help developers, architects and contractors build net-zero modular homes without a factory
- Modulous’s Series A is rare example of a tech firm increasing its valuation as global markets slide – a testament to growing interest in companies that help decarbonise real estate
- The Modulous software platform automates design, costing and programming – meaning developers, architects and contractors can figure out pricing and decide whether a site is viable in hours not weeks
- Firm aims to partner with developers, public housing providers, architects and construction firms offering them a configurable Kit of Parts to build modular homes without needing a factory
- End-to-end platform enables 50% time saving on project delivery, 60% reduction in embodied carbon, and 70% reduction in construction waste
A London-based construction technology company aiming to help developers and construction firms build modular housing without capital intensive factories has raised £10m of Series A funding to further grow its physical and digital technologies. The funds were raised from investors that include SFV, the venture capital fund backed by Patrizia (the German real estate developer), Regal London, one of the UK’s best-regarded real estate developers, and the corporate venture capital arm of construction giant CEMEX.
Modulous - with a world class team from the likes of Microsoft, Google, Katerra, Ramboll, 3i, WeWork, Rolls Royce and Netflix - has developed a software platform that aims to solve major pain points across the three core areas of the home building process.
- Architecture and design – Modulous’s software generates optimised 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 programme, 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’s Kit of Parts enables contractors to deliver multi-storey apartment blocks with no upfront investment. Instead of requiring complex and costly factories, Modulous’s established supply chain partners deliver sub-assemblies to assembly facilities near site, increasing margin, employing local labour, and improving working capital efficiency.
- Development – The Modulous platform produces 3D visualisations, detailed cost plans and 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.
The digitisation of design will enable the developer to navigate the antiquated planning process more quickly and with substantially less risk. It will also create a more collaborative process between the planning stakeholders, reducing the chance of the process becoming adversarial.
Modulous’s supply chain partners, including the likes of Knauf and CEMEX, 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.
Investors in the round include Patrizia-backed Sustainable Future Ventures (SFV) (Germany), Regal London (UK), CEMEX Ventures (Mexico), Blackhorn Ventures (US), GroundBreak Ventures (Canada), Goldacre (UK), and Leela Capital (UK).
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 centre. 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.”
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 prioritising 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.”
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 decarbonised design and build. The future of construction is changing, the UK 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.”
Mateo Zimmermann, Investment Manager at CEMEX Ventures, said:
“We’re taking bold steps to try and decarbonise 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.”