Quinn Conyers, back again!
As promised, we’re continuing this week’s editorial-only version of Unicorn Hunting.
While yesterday we highlighted the three startups that raised the most money on equity crowdfunding platforms last week, today we’ll take a closer look at one startup in particular.
To do so, we enlisted the help of my Unicorn Hunting co-host and fellow A+E Network board member, Chris Lustrino, as he used a fine-tooth comb to evaluate the modular home startup, Boxabl.
So, Chris, take it away:
Thanks so much, Quinn.
So, this is a really cool company that I’m excited to talk about, because I think it gives the opportunity to highlight some good and bad. For starters, this company developed “a better, sustainable, and cost-effective way to build everything from houses to commercial buildings.”
But, let’s keep it in a format we’re used to and break it down section by section.
To start, let’s look at the market.
The housing market is sizable. We’re talking about a $43 trillion industry that’s somehow still growing at a 19% rate annually. That said, one of the most underserved segments of this market is affordable housing – something Boxabl specializes in.
One of the most impressive aspects of Boxabl is its team.
Its founder and CEO, Paolo Tiramani, has more than 30 years of experience securing patents and developing IP. Generally speaking, executives with this amount of seasoning can more readily secure capital.
In addition to Tiramani, Boxabl’s lead engineer, Kyle Denman, spent six years as a mechanical engineer in the automotive space. Meanwhile, there are more than 200 total employees in the company, showing the level of brainpower at work.
As for the differentiators, Boxabl offers the capability to literally fold mass-produced modular units, which allows the company to easily produce and ship its product – something no modular home company has done yet. Thanks to the design of these modular units, they can be stacked and customized – similar to Legos – which allows for the dramatic range of options.
Where other modular home companies are slow moving, expensive, and difficult to transport, Boxabl is the opposite.
As far as traction is concerned, this startup already has a 170,000 square-foot mass production factory up and running.
It has more than 4,000 paid deposits and 40 patents. There are more than 90,000 reserved “Casitas” (what Boxabl calls its modular homes). Plus, the federal government has two purchase orders for 156 homes.
There are some exciting things happening for this startup, for sure.
But, that’s part of the reason its price is so high.
We like to hunt for unicorns – it’s the name of this show. But this raise begs the question, how do you hunt for an eventual unicorn if you’re investing in one already?
Boxabl currently carries a $3 billion valuation for this round of funding, something that is practically unheard of.
However, with the aforementioned 4,000 paid deposits, $55 million in capital raised thus far, a strong IP portfolio, and massive investments in factory production, it is, amazingly, relatively reasonable.
That said, as an angel investor, you’re looking to maximize your return. With a valuation already at $3 billion, this is understandably an upside-limiting factor. Don’t forget though, this is a $43 trillion industry that’s still growing fast.
At the end of the day, as always, you must do your own due diligence and make the best choice for you. Hopefully this is a good starting point.
Thanks, Chris. Wow.
Even though he literally wrote it all out, I still find myself taking notes.
So, that does it for this week’s Unicorn Hunting “episode” – I hope you managed to find some valuable nuggets to apply to your angel investing strategy.
We’ll be back on air live and in person next Tuesday. I so look forward to spreading some more angel investing gospel.
Until then, I hope you have an amazing rest of your week.
Your Unicorn Hunting Host, Startup Influencer, and A+E Network Board Member