Monday, September 25, 2017

Modular Housing Startup Blokable Gets $4.8M First Round of Investments

Investors are taking note of Blokable, a Seattle startup founded by a former Amazon manager that aims to cut costs for builders and residents alike through the construction of tech-powered manufactured housing.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Blokable has raised about $4.8 million out of a $5.5 million round. The document lists Jason Calacanis — prominent angel investor, one of the first investors in Uber and an entrepreneur known for the popular publishing site Weblogs that sold to AOL in 2005 — as director. Some of the company’s other investors include Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc.; Borealis Ventures, a New Hampshire investor that focuses on the built environment; Urban Us, a venture fund for startups aiming to improve cities; and an Oakland-based firm called Kapor Capital that invests in companies addressing social needs like affordable housing.

The company’s modular units are manufactured in a warehouse in Vancouver, Wash. Because units are pre-made, Blokable can reduce design time by as much as 70 percent and cut building time in half. And in the real estate industry, time most definitely is money.

After being manufactured in Vancouver, units are trucked to the construction site where they are craned onto the foundation, connected to utilities, and stacked several stories high. The units are already wired up when they arrive at the construction site, and customers have the option of adding basic or high-end finishes.

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