Veev, a technology-enabled real estate developer turned homebuilder, announced today that it has raised $400 million in a Series D round that propels the company to “unicorn status.”
The funding brings the San Mateo, Calif.-based company’s total raised since its inception in 2008 to $600 million. Bond led the latest round, which also included participation from LenX (formerly Lennar Ventures), Zeev Ventures , Fifth Wall Climate Tech and JLL Spark Global Ventures. Veev last raised in March 2021 – a Series C of $100 million. The company declined to reveal its exact after-money valuation.
by Veev the mission is simple: tackle the country’s housing crisis head-on. In California alone, the deficit is estimated at 3 million units. The company claims that it has brought to market a system that is “4 times faster than traditional means, at lower cost and with a much lower carbon footprint”.
Interestingly, Veev Group started life as a traditional property developer and asset manager. During his property development, he found new ways to improve the construction process, according to CEO and co-founder Amit Haller.
In 2017, Veev Group began focusing on prefabrication capabilities, and in 2018 it officially pivoted to what it described as “a vertically integrated developer focused on construction innovation.” In 2019, the company name changed from Dragonfly Group to Veev.
Over the years, Veev has developed a proprietary panel construction system using materials such as steel frames, “high performance” acrylic finishes and joinery, low voltage lighting and smart sensors. It uses a digital manufacturing process, such as cold-formed steel fed 3D design files and CNC machines, to design and produce new homes. At first, the company was focused on building ADUs (secondary suites), but now it builds multi-family homes and large-scale single-family homes.
Veev’s panel construction takes place at its 50,000 square foot “Digital Fab” facility. Homes are built there as a near-final product with all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) components included, walls precisely cut, textured, and fully clad, Haller told TechCrunch. These walls are then delivered directly to the construction site where they are prepared for installation.
“The panels are efficiently assembled on site using our plug & play system,” he said. “The homes also come with Veev’s proprietary end-to-end operating system that serves as the interface between homeowners and their homes.”
The company believes that its panel system is more flexible in terms of site design and location than “pre-engineered volumetric housing”. He also claims that a “lean manufacturing strategy” does not require the capital outlay of a large central plant.
Veev says that because he’s able to build homes faster, his homes can be built (and sold) more cheaply, according to Haller. He also claims that the company’s choice of materials resulted in a 47% reduction in CO2e than traditional building materials, “meaning the carbon footprint of a Veev home is nearly half that of a traditionally built home,” he said. For example, Veev uses Light Steel Framing (LGS) and High Performance Surface (HPS), which the company says “are lighter, stronger and more durable than wood and drywall and with nearly zero waste.” The company’s goal for 2022 is to further reduce the carbon footprint of a Veev home by an additional 25%.
Although Haller declined to comment on revenue growth, he said he expects the company to reach profitability “within two years” and expects production to be about 382% higher in 2022 than in 2021.
“We’ve taken a ‘network’ approach to our expansion efforts — similar to what some large e-commerce companies have capitalized on with local fulfillment centers,” Haller said. “By replicating our Digital Fab installation near regions of demand, we are able to build homes up to 4 times faster than traditional means and avoid additional CO2e impact with unnecessary transport.
The company plans to use its new capital to expand operations, expand construction and distribution to new markets, and accelerate research and development initiatives.
Veev recently partnered with Lennar to build a 102-home townhouse community in Northern California, and current expansion plans include, but are not limited to, Southern California and Texas.
Noah Knauf, Bond’s general partner, said his firm believes Veev is “taking a revolutionary path to building homes.”
“Its end-to-end, software-defined manufacturing process delivers exceptional quality faster to customers and will play a pivotal role in creating much-needed housing in the United States,” he said. “…We talk a lot about ‘disrupting’ technology, but what Veev is doing is truly revolutionary.”
In recent years, a number of tech-enhanced homebuilders have sprung up to help address the housing shortage in the country. Earlier this month we reported on 3D printing home builder ICON raise $185 million in a Series D led by Tiger Global Management. Also this month we covered Homebound’s $75 million Series C and plans to serve as a “next generation” homebuilder to enable “anyone, anywhere to build a home.” Notably, ICON also recently announced a partnership with Lennar, who is also one of its investors.
Veev seems undeterred by the demise of Katerra, a SoftBank-backed construction tech startup that essentially crushed and burned after raising over $2 billion in funding. Haller said Katerra markets itself “as a complete supply chain company, adopt prefabricated building technology to continue its efforts.”
He added, “Veev took a different approach, where the product – the home – came first. And the next step for the company was to grow by replicating the success of its Digital Fab near regional demand.