UPDATED 17:46 EDT / DECEMBER 27 2023


Robotic homebuilding startup BotBuilt raises $12.4M

BotBuilt Inc., a startup using robots to speed up residential construction projects, has raised $12.4 million in seed funding to finance growth initiatives.

TechCrunch reported the investment today. BotBuilt’s backers are said to include Y Combinator, Ambassador Supply, Shadow Ventures and Owens Corning, a publicly traded building supplies provider. The capital infusion gives the company a post-money valuation of $35 million.

A house’s framing, the wood and metal skeleton that supports its structure, is usually assembled by hand. The manual nature of the task means that there’s a significant risk of human error. According to BotBuilt, mistakes that occur during the framing assembly process can lead to material waste and project delays.

The company intends to tackle the challenge by shifting the assembly process to a network of automated factories. According to BotBuilt, its factories will use robotic arms powered by internally developed software to fabricate building sections. The company also uses other manufacturing equipment including customized 3D printers. 

BotBuilt’s algorithms can analyze a two-dimensional house blueprint and automatically generate three-dimensional models of the components needed to build it. Additionally, the software produces an estimate of how much each module will cost to make. It can then automatically program the robotic arms in BotBuilt’s factories to fabricate those modules.

The company currently focuses mainly on producing two types of house framing components: prefabricated wall panels and trusses. Wall panels are preassembled building modules that can help speed up residential construction projects. A truss, in turn, is a type of structural element used for tasks such as supporting a house’s roof.

BotBuilt says that the design its robots use to manufacture a given building module may be changed without extensive programming. That speeds up the configuration workflow, which can reduce the cost and duration of home construction.

BotBuilt also promises to streamline homebuilding projects in other ways. A house’s framing is usually assembled at the construction site, which means adverse weather conditions can cause assembly delays. The fact that BotBuilt manufacturers framing components in factories mitigates the risk of weather-related delays.

Since launching in 2020, BotBuilt has helped early customers build nine homes. The company will use the proceeds from its $12.4 million seed round to expand its manufacturing operations. According to TechCrunch, BotBuilt has been hired by ten builders to supply framing components for more than 2,000 houses and apartment units.

Currently, the company generates about $15,000 in revenue from each batch of wall panels that it produces for a new house. BotBuilt’s long-term goal is to operate its factories with a gross margin higher than 30% to 40% maintained by traditional wall panel and truss plants. 

Photo: Unsplash

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