Robotics construction start-up raises $50m

  • March 21, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Phoenix start-up Diamond Age has raised $50m in a series A round to advance robotic home construction.

The full-stack robotics start-up is automating new home construction to make home ownership more affordable.

It is building a suite of 26 end-of-arm robotic tools to offset 55% of the manual labour required to build a new home, reducing the construction cycle time from about nine months to thirty days. The company is also developing additive manufacturing tools that move along a gantry system to add layers of concrete to print the interior and exterior walls of the house. These efficiencies could reduce the almost seven million single-family home shortage that currently exists in the US housing market.

Using 3D printing and robotics technology, Diamond Age has advanced its automation platform by scaling up the building envelope to enable a 185 square metre single story home to be printed and finished with its robotic tool set. It delivered its first scaled version of its system as well as a full scale three-bedroom, two-bathroom house in 11 months, four months ahead of schedule. This led to the company’s first contract with a national homebuilder, which it says will be announced soon.

“Affordable housing is impacting people on a global scale,” said Jack Oslan, co-founder and CEO of Diamond Age. “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. Helping the next generation of homebuyers get into their first house faster helps the entire ecosystem of housing.”

Diamond Age plans to use the funding to continue scaling its robotics platform and execute on its first commercial contract to build homes. The company has already doubled in size and plans to add more engineering and fabrication talent. This will help it partner with home builders and developers to turn home building into an on-demand product and provide buyers with more options when designing their home.

The $50m round was led by Prime Movers Lab. Seed investors Alpaca VC, Dolby Family Ventures, Timber Grove Ventures and Gaingels all invested above their pro-rata and are joined by Signia Venture Partners. Additionally, 20% of the round was made up of production home builders and land developers.

“Diamond Age’s Factory in the Field system brings automation to the construction site to back fill the massive labour 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.”

Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific start-ups. It invests in companies involved with energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and human augmentation. Portfolio investments span in-space transportation, industrial solar heat, ag tech, brain upgrades, nano-structured materials, wafer slicing, prosthetics, 3D printing, mobility, longevity and AI.