Unicorns of ASEAN: Revolution Precrafted

Revolution Precrafted’s houses are designed by world-famous names in the architecture and design scene. (Modular Glass House by Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects / Photo sourced from Revolution Precrafted social media)

A unicorn has finally arrived in the Philippines. In October last year, Philippine-based startup Revolution Precrafted, a company that develops and designs prefabricated homes and hotels among others, raised its series B round of funding co-led by Singaporean venture capital firm K2 Global. The round of funding raised an undisclosed amount that brought the startup over the billion-dollar mark, making it the first unicorn to come out of the Philippines.

Revolution Precrafted – also referred to as Revolution – was founded in December 2015 by young Filipino millionaire, Robbie Antonio. Having gained unicorn status just before turning two last year, the startup is the fastest to hit the billion-dollar valuation mark in Southeast Asia.

In interviews, Robbie Antonio has always likened himself as a young visionary, who wants to innovate architecture and disrupt the current real estate market. Robbie’s knack for the real estate business probably comes from his father, who owns Century Properties in the Philippines. During his time working for his father, Robbie was the brains behind the company’s multi-million-dollar deals with big names such as Forbes, Versace Home, Missoni and more. It was there he learnt the power of working with brands.

“I realized what branding can do to a development. It can increase your sale price vis-a-vis your competitors who might even have a superior location. It also sells faster,” he said.

Coming from one of the wealthiest families in the Philippines, Robbie has picked up the hobby of art collecting. His penchant for art is what inspired him to start Revolution Precrafted. Similar to art, Robbie wanted to make architecture collectible. According to Robbie, “Revolution preserves the exclusivity of art collection and by introducing prefabricated technology, expands the potential of ownership.”

Source: Revolution Precrafted

Just like how IKEA would deliver furniture to your house, Revolution Precrafted does the same except you could have your entire house delivered to you. The concept of prefabricated homes offers an easy solution for people who want to own an exclusive house but have no idea how to design it. With Revolution Precrafted, interested customers could just go through the company’s catalogue and pick out a design they like. Then all the necessary materials will be delivered for it to be assembled on the selected site. Revolution Precrafted doesn’t just sell prefabricated homes but they also have a collection of prefabricated condominiums, pavilions, adaptive amenity spaces and more.

The idea of a prefabricated home might bring to mind the dread normally associated with generic designs and shoddiness, however that is not the case with Revolution Precrafted. Robbie has enlisted the help of some of the biggest names in architecture and design to develop the startups’ prefabricated structures. Among them include Pritzker Prize winners Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel, renowned architecture firm Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects and rockstar Lenny Kravitz’s Kravitz Design team. To own a house designed by some of these world-famous people would set you back about US$140,000.

The idea of prefabricated homes and buildings has long existed in the world of architecture, only the idea never really took off. Leveraging this idea with the branding power of big name designers, artists and architects, Robbie has managed to reverse the negative reputation of prefabricated homes by turning it into something exclusive and desirable.

Revolution Precrafted is now sought after in the tourism industry for its modern designs and affordability. In March, Revolution Precrafted signed a landmark US$3.2 billion deal to manufacture luxury apartments and hotel villas in Dubai’s famous The World Islands. Then in April, the startup tied up a US$300 million deal in the Caribbean for the supply of its prefabricated units.

Robbie expects the company to grow bigger and expand to more countries in the future. Revolution Precrafted looks ready to revolutionise the real estate market.