Diamond Age is back for a $50 million Series A funding round, following an $8 million round just a few months ago. The company’s mission is to make homeownership more affordable by using 3D printing and robotics technologies to make home construction significantly cheaper — a welcome change in a world where the US housing market is experiencing a 7-million-home shortage.
The business calls itself a “full-stack robotics startup,” and it’s working on a set of technologies that will automate more than half of the human labor involved in building a new home. As a result of incorporating a bit of robots into the mix, homes that used to take nine months to construct can now be built in a month or less. The company has built 26 end-of-arm robotic tools, on top of a 3D printing technology that can print concrete for exterior, interior, and roof constructions.
Prime Movers Lab, led the investment round, which focuses on science-driven solutions. Startups re-inventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, human enhancement, and agtech excite the investor in particular. Signia Venture Partners has joined seed investors Alpaca VC, Dolby Family Ventures, Timber Grove Ventures, and Gaingels in investing above their pro-rata. The fact that 20% of the round was made up of home builders and land developers is especially encouraging for the company’s founders; it’s usually a good sign when potential consumers invest in businesses.
Diamond Age has made significant technological advancements since its previous funding round, making it possible to print and construct a 2,000-square-foot single-story home. The company delivered its first scaled version of its system, as well as a full-scale 3-bed, 2-bath house, in 11 months – 4 months ahead of schedule, no doubt delighting investors and adding gasoline to the value fire. This led to the company’s first deal with a national homebuilder, the details of which the founders are keeping under wraps for the time being — but expect an announcement shortly.
“Affordable housing is impacting people on a global scale. As the average age for first-time homebuyers has moved from mid-twenties to mid-thirties, there’s an increased demand for more rental property — forcing the entire hierarchy of renters into a more competitive market for ‘quality’ housing,” said Jack Oslan, co-founder and CEO of Diamond Age. “Helping the next generation of homebuyers get into their first house faster helps the entire ecosystem of housing.”
Diamond Age will utilize the funds to expand its robotics platform and complete its first commercial home-building contract. The company has already grown in size, and more engineering and fabrication talent is on the way. This will enable Diamond Age to work with home builders and developers to turn home construction into an on-demand service, giving buyers additional options when it comes to home design.
“Diamond Age’s Factory in the Field system brings automation to the construction site to back fill the massive labor shortage in the home construction industry,” said Prime Movers Lab General Partner Suzanne Fletcher. “Jack and his team have hit key milestones ahead of schedule and are transforming the way production homes are constructed, so it was an easy decision for Prime Movers Lab to lead the company’s Series A.”