Oakland’s Mighty Buildings, a maker of sustainable prefabricated homes produced with additive construction (AC), has received $52 million in its latest funding round. Two firms co-led the series, including Wa’ed Ventures, a venture capital arm of global oil giant Saudi Aramco, the world’s second largest company by revenue (and according to a recent article in Fortune, “the most profitable company in the history of the world”).
The other lead was BOLD Capital Partners, a Santa Monica fund that invests in next-gen life sciences and deep tech startups, with Relativity Space included among the latter category in BOLD’s portfolio. Notably, new investors contributed more than half of the overall haul. According to Mighty Buildings, the company will use the funds to achieve two key objectives: accelerating production at scale for the US market, and establishing production operations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The governments of both the KSA and the UAE have put AC at the forefront of their long-term infrastructure plans, with the two countries unveiling increasingly ambitious AC projects over the last several years. This includes an announcement by the Dubai Government’s Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD), made at the beginning of 2023, of its intentions to build a 3D printed mosque by 2025.
However, AC for prefabs has been largely missing from all of this activity. Combining that opening in the market with Mighty Buildings’ primary focus on sustainability — the company offers customers the option of purchasing homes with preinstalled rooftop solar panels — and climate-resilience, the Gulf region is an ideal locale for Mighty Buildings’ to ramp up its globalization strategy.
In a press release about Mighty Buildings’ latest, $52 million funding round, the managing director at Wa’ed Ventures, Fahad Alidi, said, “The team at Mighty Buildings have reaffirmed our confidence in the incredible and diverse potential for innovation lying within the construction tech industry. Our investment in the company reflects our belief that innovative materials, as those used in Mighty Buildings’ proprietary 3D printing, will be a major driver for scalability and sustainability of homebuilding in the Gulf Region.” Mighty Buildings’ CFO, Rene Griemens, said, “This recent funding underlines Mighty Buildings’ leadership in the modular homebuilding market. 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.”
The AC market segment is still in its infancy, but AC’s mounting traction this last year have started to make some important themes stand out: large buildings are looking like the best bet for operations using on-site systems like the BOD2 from COBOD, while prefabs may be the most profitable approach when it comes to using AC for housing. This adds to the rationale for Mighty Buildings’ choice of the Gulf region as a launching pad for establishing a global presence, if only because of the area’s being situated at the heart of global shipping routes.
Big policy moves support that: just this past weekend, at the G20 summit in India, the EU and the US announced support for a project to connect Europe, the Middle East, and India by rail and sea, giving form to the G7 countermove to China’s Belt and Road Initiative that has been long in the making. Trade connections between the UAE and India, in particular, are increasingly vital to this plan. Just like the governments of KSA and UAE, the Indian government has in the past couple of years shown itself to be one of the most enthusiastic adopters of AC. Thus, the Gulf region is not only a market with enormous potential in its own right, but also opens up easy access to a literal world of additional opportunities.
Images courtesy of Mighty Buildings