Icon raises $207m to modernise construction
The 3D print firm, together with Northwest Venture Partners, has raised the money to bring housing and construction 'into the modern world'. The series B funding round takes the total raised to $266m to accelerate the R&D of Icon's technologies, expand its team and scale its capabilities.
The Austin based firm has been maturing its technology since 2018, resulting in a number of architectural, scientific and engineering breakthroughs. The company is now ready to scale and bring its ready-for-the-world products and services to the wider market.
First 3D printed home
Icon has expanded rapidly since its first funding round in 2018 which followed Texas's first 3D printed home. Since raising that initial $9m, Icon has worked with New Story to scale the application of its 3D printing technology and build a community of houses in Latin America in 2019 before raising another $39m with Moderne Ventures.
But Icon's success is not confined to domestic ventures. In the past year, the firm has seen its technology adopted by NASA to create prototypes of an off-world construction system. This in turn has inspired Icon to take a NASA inspired approach to R&D, by aiming for the stars in its next round of developments.
CEO Jason Ballard says the firm is looking at the future of housing like the Apollo program, bringing housing and construction into the modern world in line with 'humanity's hopes and aspirations'. The latest funding round, which saw Norwest Venture Partners' Jeff Crowe join the ICON board, will enable the company to start scaling their Vulcan printing technology.
Scaling 3D printing
Icon's proprietary 3D printing technology and Vulcan printer have so far enabled the Austin-based company to build more than 2 dozen homes in the US and many more abroad. The company is currently working on the next-generation iteration of Vulcan which will deliver even faster and more flexible construction of new homes than legacy construction methods allow.
The new Vulcan will have an enhanced build volume and a print speed of 5-10" per second. That gives Icon the capacity to print structures up to 3000 sq ft in double-quick time. As a result, Icon has been addressing increasingly complex and ambitious structures, not least the construction of four multi-storey buildings in East Austin.
The company is already expanding into new military areas and has leveraged its new capacity to create the worlds first portable lunar launch pad. Their latest project will see the upgraded Vulcan printer deliver 3D printed training barracks for up to 72 US troops. That's on top of Icon's existing commitment to provide 3D printed homes to address the US housing crisis.
Leader in 3D construction
Where Icon has led, others are beginning to follow and there's been an explosion of interest in using 3D printing to deliver affordable family homes.
Mighty Buildings is developing plans for 15 houses in the Coachella Valley, while non-profit Habitat for Humanity has been using the COBOD's BOD2 to 3D print an affordable 3 bed family home in Tempe, Arizona. In Germany the PERI Group has used the same technology to create a 5 apartment block for the commercial letting market.
Norwest Venture Partners said they were thrilled to add Icon to their existing portfolio of innovative prop tech leaders and looked forward to working with them on new and exciting projects powered by Vulcan printing capabilities.