ICON’s 3-D Printed Welcome Center at Mobile Loaves & Fishes’ CommunityFirst! Village in Austin, photo courtesy of ICON

ICON, the Austin-based startup that builds homes with its giant 3-D printer using concrete as substrate, on Wednesday announced it has closed on $35 million in funding.

Previously, the company raised $9 million in seed-stage funding.

ICON is arguably one of Austin’s most innovative startups tackling big problems like building homes for the city’s homeless population. It teamed up with Mobile Loaves and Fishes last year to build six 3-D printed homes for Community First! Village, a 51-acre master-planned development in Austin.

The company has received other accolades landing on the Austin Chamber of Commerce’s A-List of hottest startups last year. Time Magazine also named the company one of the best inventions of 2018. Popular Science named ICON one of the best 100 Greatest Innovations of 2018.

Moderne Ventures led the Series A round of investment. Other investors include international architecture firm BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, CAZ Investments, Citi, Crosstimbers Ventures, Ironspring Ventures, Next Coast Ventures, Oakhouse Partners, Trust Ventures, Vulcan Capital, and Wavemaker Partners.

“Traditional building and construction techniques have not improved since B.C., they have only become more expensive,” Constance Freedman, the Founder, and Managing Partner at Moderne Ventures said in a news statement. “The results are vast deltas in affordability, limitations on design, and both time and efficiency challenges. I believe we will see an evolution of the entire home-buying value chain, especially when integrated with other technologies like digital transactions and augmented reality. Consumers will be able to order, build, design, and purchase a brand-new home in a matter of days–something that’s truly innovative and truly disruptive. We are excited to support ICON as it continues to change the world.”

“In early 2018, there were no 3D-printed homes in North America, and today, there are almost twenty and we’re gearing up for hundreds more,” Jason Ballard, Co-Founder and CEO of ICON, said in a news release. “We anticipate more high-velocity progress in the years ahead to help bring housing and construction into the modern world and in-line with humanity’s highest hopes. The present challenges the world is facing due to new coronavirus have only emphasized the tremendous gap between the housing that we have and the housing that we need. We are grateful to those who have believed in our mission from the beginning and are excited to have a larger team of global investors joining us in our belief that the housing of our future must be different than the housing we have known.”

ICON’s new round of funding will accelerate the development of its printers, create a variety of home types and designs, and enhance its core technology.

ICON unveiled its first 3D printer and successfully secured a building permit and printed a home in Austin in March 2018. And a year later at SXSW, ICON unveiled its next-generation Vulcan 3-D printer and announced strategic projects in the U.S. and Mexico.

 In addition to the Mobile Loaves & Fishes project, in 2020, ICON built 3D-printed homes in Mexico alongside nonprofit partner, New Story. ICON also partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit and the United States Marine Corps to train Marines to operate its technology and complete a field demonstration print at Camp Pendleton.

ICON is also hiring with “numerous roles across robotics, off-planet construction, materials science, software engineering, architecture, building science and operations.”