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Modulous earns follow-on investment from Cemex Ventures

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

Modulous is a tech-enabled player for the delivery of industrialised and sustainable homes, based on an asset-light business model and a strong network of international and local partners.

It links to a carefully curated supply chain which delivers the modular buildings ready for assembly, using just-in-time logistics to minimise contractors’ costs. Modulous´ software automates many processes, enabling architects and contractors to be more productive.

The investment is aligned with the UK Government´s push to champion innovation, promote modern methods of construction, and combat the housing and climate crises.

This is CEMEX Ventures’ second investment in Modulous in less than a year, after the company won the VC’s global Construction Startup Competition 2020.

CEMEX Ventures, the corporate venture capital and open innovation unit of CEMEX, has announced that they increased their participation in Modulous, a UK based company that exploits technology in a bid to modernise the design and construction of affordable housing, making the process more efficient, scalable, and relying on a strong network of supply chain partners. Modulous received its first investment from CEMEX Ventures in 2020 after winning the firm’s Construction Startup Competition.

Now in its fifth year, the competition has provided the entry point to the sector for construction industry startups. With the backing gained through winning the competition in 2020, Modulous has over the 10 months since, gained government contracts for the construction of 300 homes in London, and expanded its R&D and product development teams in the UK. This strategic growth since the competition and initial funding has provided the evidence needed for CEMEX Ventures to invest further into a shining light on the British and European ConTech scenes.

CEMEX Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures and GroundBreak Ventures are backing the startup, whose software platform will streamline the design and overhaul the inefficient logistics that weigh down construction firms. Modulous has also developed a precision-engineered multi-story apartment product that enables the delivery of high-quality, affordable, and sustainable homes to be computer designed and produced at a specific cost.

The new funding will expand the company's building design team, grow its technology team, and speed up the evolution of its software platform, being developed to exploit AI technology in a bid to make delivering homes better in every way possible.

The game-changer is that the Modulous´ design platform combines with its own modular building system. This enables developers and housing associations to specify the type of building they want, harvest local planning to determine what is permitted, and quickly create designs that accurately detail the precise cost. Because every component that goes into the building is mapped on the system, it is possible to monitor and measure the carbon footprint of every single building on a mass scale.

Sections of the buildings are supplied by a selection of high-quality supply chain partners, including CEMEX, Knauf, Ideal Standard and Ibstock. The software platform orchestrates the logistics to ensure that all components arrive just in time and sequence, playing a significant role in helping inflate construction companies’ margins.

The deal is the second round of investment in Modulous in less than a year from CEMEX Ventures, just after the startup was chosen as the grand winner of Construction Startup Competition 2020, the annual global challenge led by venture capital. In this round, they co-invested together with Blackhorn Ventures, a cutting-edge US fund with around US$200 million under management in early-stage construction and transportation firms, and Toronto-based proptech investor GroundBreak Ventures.

Chris Bone, Chief Executive Officer of Modulous, expressed that, “The 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. 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.”

"We have to put Industrialised Construction and MMC at the heart of design, manufacturing, logistics and assembly. The change to a ‘product mindset’ (instead of project mindset) will open multiple benefits to our industry like efficiency, climate action and sustainable profitability. Modulous is offering an unrivalled value proposition based on technology, flexibility and scalability,” said Mateo Zimmermann, Head of CEMEX Ventures´ investment in the startup.

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