Digital housebuilder gains £5m VC investment

Modulous, the British start-up that has developed a platform to enable high-speed design and delivery of affordable housing on a global basis, has received £5m of investment from three venture capital firms.

Modulous’s platform uses big data to tell developers what they can build on a site with specific information about how long it will take and what it will cost. It links to a curated supply chain that delivers the modular buildings ready for assembly (from Modulous’s own kit of parts), using just-in-time logistics to minimise contractors’ costs.

Modulous is an asset-light business with no factories: instead, its global supply chain and its investment in logistics “will enable it to become more scalable and more responsive to the cyclical nature of housebuilding”, it claimed.

Blackhorn Ventures, Cemex Ventures and GroundBreak Ventures have backed Modulous. The funding will be used to expand the company’s building design team and grow its technology group in order to speed up the evolution of its platform. 

The investment round was led by Blackhorn Ventures, a cutting-edge US fund with around $200m under management in early-stage construction, transport and energy firms. It brings together the venture arm of Cemex and Toronto-based proptech investor GroundBreak.

The deal represents the second rounds of investment from Blackhorn Ventures and Cemex Ventures.

Chris Bone, CEO of Modulous, said: “Our digitally-led approach to project management and innovative kit of parts platform delivers sustainable, high quality housing at a fraction of the time of traditional construction. 

“As the costs of materials rise and profit margins are continually squeezed, Modulous provides partners with the end-to-end tools necessary to accurately estimate project costs, compress programme timescales and mitigate against the risks inherent in planning, design and implementation. 

“It’s a system that solves multiple problems plaguing the industry for decades, while engaging flexible, net zero-ready technologies that allow our partners to realise high-speed assembly and installation.”

Phillip O’Connor, managing partner and co-founder at Blackhorn Ventures, said: “This is about far more than modular housing. The opportunity here with the suite of products Modulous is developing is to create a standard akin to Pro Tools, which can orchestrate and produce all elements of the housing process. And their capital-efficient, outsourced manufacturing business model allows Modulous to weather fluctuations in demand that characterise construction in contrast to capital-heavy, vertically integrated modular housing developers.”

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