SEATTLE, Aug. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Blokable, the vertically integrated developer that builds high-quality, low-cost, and connected housing, today announced the completion of its Series A financing of $23 million. Vulcan Capital leads the round and the firm’s YB Choi has joined Blokable’s board of directors. Additional Series A investors include Building Ventures, Jason Calacanis’ LAUNCH, Kapor Capital, Marc Benioff, Motley Fool Ventures, Ten Eighty Capital, and angel investor Dennis Joyce.
The Series A funding will support Blokable’s product development and manufacturing expansion for its West Coast project pipeline. The company is growing its product development team and adding a second manufacturing facility in the Sacramento area to better service California projects.
“We’re very pleased to complete our Series A financing with mission-aligned investors,” said Aaron Holm, Co-CEO of Blokable. “From the beginning, it has been crucial that we partner with investors who understand our vision of applying a systems-based solution and product development methodology to the heavily regulated real estate development industry. Vulcan stepped up to lead the Series A and we’re excited to have YB Choi join our Board of Directors. We have an outstanding team and Board and we’re very excited for the next phase as we lay down the product, technology, and supply chain foundation for a network of regional Blokable manufacturing and real estate development centers.”
Since launching in 2016, Blokable has reinvented the development process with a global first—a vertical platform that integrates design, planning, permitting, almost completely off-site manufacturing, delivery, on-site construction, and ongoing operational support into one transparent and easily managed service. The Blokable Building System allows standardized manufacturing while creating endless site variation. Combining physical standardization with a vertically integrated business model, Blokable drastically reduces the cost and time of developing real estate while delivering a higher quality product that lowers long-term operating and maintenance costs.
“It’s clear to us that the housing sector is long overdue for inventive business models, technology innovation, and new market creation,” said YB Choi of Vulcan Capital. “Blokable has the right team and the differentiated business model to break through the structural issues that fuel the continuing housing crisis in this country. Our conviction in Blokable’s potential has led us to reaffirm our support for the company and its vision.”
Blokable’s project partners include land owners, investors, and nonprofit housing service providers who are looking for more efficient alternatives to traditional development. The company’s process creates lower cost real estate projects that generate real estate equity—for Blokable and its partners in market rate projects, and for the community through nonprofit projects.
The proprietary Blokable Building System, currently built in the company’s first factory in Vancouver, Wash., unlocks previously unavailable efficiencies through just-in-time manufacturing of standardized, prefabricated components called Bloks. The Bloks are easily combined and stacked into a variety of configurations and floor plans ideal for both market rate and affordable multi-family housing as well as hotels.
“Throughout my decades of work in law, real estate, and finance, I’ve never seen a model that can have such a transformative impact on our acute housing crisis or development in general,” said Nelson del Rio, Co-CEO of Blokable. “We have leveraged the unique skills of our team members to create a manufactured, as opposed to constructed, physical product that empowers a business model that generates wealth. Our development model eliminates risks and the substantial legal, technological, and operational costs that bloat every project and suck equity out of owners and communities. We’re grateful to have the support of like-minded investors and partners in our vision.”
“Our team tracks every development in the built environment,” said Travis Connors, Co-Founder and General Partner, Building Ventures. “We’ve invested in Blokable because we believe that while housing is a challenging space, Blokable has developed an approach that can surmount those obstacles and truly scale.”
“We’re thrilled with the massive progress Blokable’s team has made in building its development platform, cutting per-unit production time and costs allowing them to drastically undercut multi-family housing prices in metropolitan markets,” said Jason Calacanis, Founder and CEO of LAUNCH. “We’re excited to have worked with Blokable since April 2016, investing in every round and supporting their important vision.”
“We invest in firms that are committed to bridging inequitable gaps in access, opportunity, and outcome,” said Mitch Kapor, Partner at Kapor Capital. “Blokable’s success means people across the entire socioeconomic spectrum will have access to well-designed, well-constructed housing. We fully support Blokable’s vision and look forward to helping them succeed in the coming years.”
The company is planning additional project and product announcements to follow in the coming months.
Founded by real estate and technology industry veterans, Blokable is a self-performing developer that expands prosperity and equity in communities by building high-quality, low-cost, connected housing at scale. Blokable offers the world’s first vertically integrated development platform—from design, planning, financing, and permitting, to almost-complete manufacturing, delivery, on-site construction, and ongoing operational support. For land owners and investors, nonprofit housing service providers, and municipalities, Blokable offers a compelling alternative to the costly and inefficient traditional development process. By turning development into a transparent, precise, and easily managed service, Blokable also disrupts housing creation models that maximize industry profits at the expense of communities. Blokable’s one-stop solution de-risks and accelerates the construction of affordable and modern housing where it is needed most, while giving its partners and customers absolute certainty on cost, product, and quality from day one.
About Vulcan Capital
Vulcan Capital is the multi-billion dollar investment arm of Vulcan Inc., the company founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen. Vulcan Capital is focused on generating long-term value appreciation across a portfolio which spans diverse industry sectors and investment asset classes, ranging from early-stage venture investments to public equity value investing, leveraged buyouts, acquisitions, and distressed situations. http://capital.vulcan.com
About LAUNCH Fund
The mission at LAUNCH is to support founders and inspire innovation. They do this through a series of podcasts, books, research products, and by investing millions of dollars a year into promising, early-stage startups. To date, they’ve invested in over 200 startups, which has gone on to achieve valuations over a billion dollars: Uber, Thumbtack, Datastax, Wealthfront, Robinhood Desktop Metal, & Calm. They invest in 50 startups per year through a series of private funds. http://launch.co
About Kapor Capital
Kapor Capital invests in tech-driven seed stage companies committed to closing gaps of access, opportunity or outcome for low income communities and/or communities of color in the United States. We are particularly interested in those that address gaps of disproportionate relevance to African-Americans and Latinx communities. www.kaporcapital.com
About Building Ventures
Building Ventures provides venture capital funding and mentoring to early-stage start-ups in the built environment space. Headquartered in Boston with an office in San Francisco, the team consists of investors, entrepreneurs and built environment veterans. As built environment pioneers, the Building Ventures mission is to champion disruptive ideas in the built environment to build a better world together. www.buildingventures.com