Oakland-based startup, Mighty Buildings, raised $52 million in funding for its pre-fabricated, 3D-printed homes that it claims are made of a material 5 times stronger than concrete, without the emissions of concrete.
In addition to its strength, the startup also calculates that each of its homes has a 99% reduction of waste when compared to new residential construction projects, and is resilient to extreme weather events.
If that wasn't enough, the startup also says that its kit is made up of 60% recycled materials.
When the new housing construction sector is highly emitting, resulting in 50 million tons of carbon a year in just the United States, and the world is currently undergoing a housing shortage, and unaffordability crisis, prefab homes may be the future.
The amount of planet-warming emissions the U.S. new home construction market generates annually is equivalent to that of entire countries like Norway, Peru, and Sweden. These 50 million tons of embodied carbon emissions are the result of everything it takes to build a house from concrete and insulation, to heating and cooling, according to a report by the sustainability research organization, Rocky Mountain Institute.
In addition to the constantly rising prices of homes and the lack thereof, more tiny and prefabricated houses, aka homes-in-a-box, are popping up across the world and U.S. cities, from the startup Abodu getting its homes pre-approved permits in cities from San Jose to Los Angeles, the company DimensionsX leading a prefab revolution in Australia, to prefab homes coming to Maui to temporarily house people whose homes were lost to the Hawaiian wildfires.
As the whole world grapples with a housing shortage, one California startup, Oakland-based Mighty Buildings, is aiming to not only dive into the East Coast’s market, but scale across North America with two facilities in the Gulf, and establish manufacturing operations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two of the largest and fastest growing construction markets in the world, further highlighting the need to find more sustainable avenues.
But before it captures the world market, it aims to build the first net-zero community in California, with finishing the first home in the 40+ neighborhood goal, last year. By 2028, it also aims to be producing carbon-neutral homes at scale, which is apparently, 22 years ahead of the construction industry.
As the American and world population grows, construction emissions grow right with it, and when 27% of those emissions come from residential construction, homes are an ideal place to tackle.
The startup recently finished a $52 million funding round, co-led by Wa’ed Ventures, a venture capital fund backed by Saudi Aramco and U.S.based BOLD Capital Partners, with participation from Khosla Ventures and KB-Badgers, a South Korean fund focused on advanced manufacturing, automation, and sustainability. These four firms are only a slice of the over 20 organizations that participated in Mighty Building’s round.
The round marks over $150 invested since the startup emerged from stealth mode in 2020, and according to the startup, the money rolling in illustrates not only confidence in the market, rooted in sustainability, but confidence in their product: a 3D-printed prefab home that is nearly zero waste, slashes emissions by avoiding concrete, cuts down on water use in its construction, has net-zero capability through solar panels and battery storage, and is even climate-resilient, with strong material that, according to the startup, is more likely to hold its ground during high-velocity hurricanes and, earthquakes, and resist water damage.
In fact, Mighty Buildings claims that its patented material, “Lumus” is 5 times stronger than concrete. According to its calculations, the whole kit uses 60% recycled printing materials and results in a 99% reduction of waste.
“This recent funding underlines Mighty Buildings’ leadership in the modular homebuilding market,” Mighty Buildings’ chief financial officer Rene Griemens said in a statement. “It will accelerate our growth by funding the international expansion to one of the most exciting homebuilding regions in the world. We are thrilled about the support from such esteemed investors for our mission: solving the housing and climate crises by transforming the way the world builds homes.”