Construction robotics tech startup ICON raises over $200M in Series B funding to meet growing demand for 3D-printed construction
ICON, an Austin, Texas-based construction tech startup using 3D printing robotics to build homes, said today announced it has closed a $207 million Series B round of funding to accelerate growth and meet the growing demand for 3D-printed construction. In conjunction with the funding, ICON also announced that Jeff Crowe, Managing Partner at Norwest Venture Partners, will join its Board of Directors.
The Series B round was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with backing from other investors including 8VC, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, BOND, Citi, Crosstimbers, Ensemble, Fifth Wall, LENx, Moderne Ventures, and Oakhouse Partners.
In October 2018, ICON raised $9 million in seed funding led by Oakhouse Partners. It was followed by another $35 million series A financing round led by Moderne Ventures in August 2020, with participation from CAZ Investments, Citi, Crosstimbers Ventures, Ironspring Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, and others. To date, ICON has raised a total of $266 million since its inception.
Founded in 2017 by Jason Ballard (CEO), Alex LeRoux, and Evan Loomis, ICON is using 3D robotics, software, and advanced materials to revolutionize homebuilding. ICON’s proprietary Vulcan technology produces resilient, energy-efficient homes faster than conventional construction methods and with less waste and more design freedom. Designed and engineered from the ground up for volume 3D printing of homes with precision and speed, the new Vulcan construction system can 3D print homes and structures up to 3,000 square feet, is 1.5x larger and 2x faster than the previous ICON Vulcan 3D printers.
“Since our unveiling in 2018, ICON’s primary work has been maturing the technology from prototype to reliable, ready-for-the-world products and services,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. “This has required dozens of fundamental engineering, scientific and architectural breakthroughs, and we’re very proud of where we are today. We want to turn up the velocity in a major way and are ready to scale. With the support of the very best of venture capital, strategic capital, and industry partners, this round of funding will help us do just that: faster R&D, manufacturing, and expansion to the people and places that need this technology.”
“ICON’s groundbreaking technology has created a new paradigm for homebuilding that fundamentally changes how housing is constructed,” said Jeff Crowe, managing partner, Norwest Venture Partners. “The company is already building everything from single-family homes for the homeless all the way to structures for habitation on the moon and Mars. But we are particularly excited about the opportunity for ICON to collaborate with home builders and massively impact the housing shortage currently plaguing the U.S. We’re thrilled to add ICON to our portfolio of innovative prop-tech leaders and look forward to partnering with the team in the years ahead.”
To date, ICON has delivered more than two dozen 3D-printed homes and structures across the U.S. and Mexico—more than any other construction tech company. ICON broke into the mainstream housing market in early 2021 with the first 3D-printed homes for sale in America for developer 3Strands.
Most recently, ICON unveiled its next-generation Vulcan construction system and debuted its new Exploration Series of homes to cooperatively develop new design languages and architectural vernaculars with world-class architects. The first home in the series, “House Zero,” was optimized and designed specifically for 3D printing and features an elevated architectural and energy-efficient design that highlights the benefits of resiliency and sustainability only found in homebuilding through 3D printing.
In addition, ICON projects are underway to deliver social housing, disaster relief housing, and mainstream housing, in addition to developing construction systems to create infrastructure and habitats on the moon and eventually Mars with NASA.
Ballard added, “We’re treating this like the Apollo program for the future of the way we build and the future of the way we meet one of our most basic needs. We’re going to accelerate the growth of an elite and diverse team of scientists, engineers, architects, operators, and leaders that is now over 100 and growing. We anticipate more rapid progress in the years ahead to help bring housing and construction into the modern world and in line with humanity’s highest hopes and values.”