Construction tech firm raises £10m to help developers build net-zero modular homes without a factory

London-based construction tech firm Modulous has raised £10m of Series A funding to help developers and construction firms build modular housing without capital intensive factories.

The cash will be used to grow its physical and digital technologies, while it was raised from investors including SFV, the venture capital fund backed by Patrizia (the German real estate developer), the developer Regal London, and the corporate venture capital arm of construction giant CEMEX.

Modulous has developed a software platform that aims to solve major pain points across the three core areas of the home building process.

Chris Bone, chief executive 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.”

The software generates designs and massing for a site and bases these on its physical Kit of Parts. This guarantees the technical feasibility of the design and provides accurate costs and programme.

The firm said it means 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.

Modulous’s Kit of Parts enables contractors to deliver multi-storey apartment blocks with no upfront investment. Instead of requiring factories, the firm’s partners deliver sub-assemblies to assembly facilities near site, increasing margin, employing local labour, and improving working capital efficiency.

The platform produces 3D visualisations, 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 tech firm said 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 like  Knauf and CEMEX have focused their collaboration on continuously reducing the number of components required, in a way that’s comparable to the approach previously taken by the automotive and aviation industries. By tracking each of these components, it’s said to 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).

Conan Lauterpacht, artner at Sustainable Future Ventures, added: “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.”

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