CEMEX Ventures has announced its latest investment: a digital tech startup in London that uses a modular building system to make affordable housing more scalable. The startup, Modulous, develops a software platform for modular homes. From that software, a standardized kit of parts is created, reducing the time and cost of building structures.
Learn about what Modulous does:
By 2050, most of the world's population will live in urban areas, the video says, which will equate to 3 billion more people living in cities. Modulous says its software helps create affordable housing in hours instead of months. The home kits are built offsite and assembled at the construction site. Modulous has also developed a multi-story apartment kit.
"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. Modulous provides partners with the end-to-end tools necessary to accurately estimate project costs, compress program timescales and mitigate against the risks inherent in planning, design, and implementation," says Chris Bone, Modulous' CEO.
Modulous has received many accolades in recent years. In 2019, it was named one of the 50 Most Promising Startups in the Construction Ecosystem, it was a finalist for EG's Placemaking Award in 2020 and was one of the winners of the 2020 CEMEX Ventures Construction Startup Competition.
CEMEX Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of global concrete behemoth CEMEX, which is aggressively investing in new technologies to develop innovation in construction. CEMEX sponsors an annual startup competition to encourage new technology in the field.
Since winning the 2020 CEMEX Ventures Construction Startup Competition, Modulous has since gained government contracts for the construction of 300 homes in London, and expanded its research, development and product development teams in the United Kingdom.
Now, CEMEX is investing further in Modulous. CEMEX Ventures, Blackhorn Ventures and GroundBreak Ventures are backing the startup and 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 use AI technology. CEMEX Ventures is not disclosing the amount of this investment, but some British news media outlets have reported the figure at £5 million.
"We have to put industrialized construction and MMC (modern methods of construction) at the heart of design, manufacturing, logistics and assembly," says Mateo Zimmermann, head of CEMEX Ventures´ investment in the startup. "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."
The Modulous´ design platform combines with its own modular building system, enabling developers and housing associations to specify the type of building they want, work with local planning ordinances and quickly create designs that accurately detail the precise cost. The system maps out each building component, allowing it to monitor and measure the building's carbon footprint. Sections of the buildings are supplied by a selection of supply chain partners, including CEMEX, Knauf, Ideal Standard and Ibstock. The software platform plans the logistics to ensure components arrive on time and sequence.