by Dinushi Diaz, Smart Company
After securing millions of dollars in funding from global tech giant 500 Startups, prominent Philippines property developer Robbie Antonio believes his one-year-old venture could soon become the country’s first unicorn — a company worth $1 billion.
Revolution Precrafted, which launched in December 2015, ships “precrafted homes” created by renowned designers like Lenny Kravtiz’s Kravitz Design to property developers and homebuyers around the world within 90 days of ordering.
“We’re changing the landscape of home building,” Antonio told Tech in Asia.
“Now you have the world’s best architects at your fingertips for an affordable price.
“We’re applying the home as an art concept as well. They’re collectibles.”
According to Tech in Asia, Antonio’s startup wasn’t even raising capital when global tech giant 500 Startups invested $US15.4 million ($20 million) in it earlier this month.
And why would it need investors, considering the business has generated over $US110 million ($143.3 million) in sales already?
Revolution Precrafted homes cost an average of $US120,000 ($156,331) a pop, and Antonio believes the global market opportunity for this is $US100 billion ($130.3 billion).
With the company now valued at US$256 million, Antonio said venture capital investors were super keen to get involved.
“I wanted to have a cross-border transaction business,” says Antonio.
“That’s what makes it really geared towards being, I believe, the first Philippine unicorn.”
500 Startup managing partner Khailee Ng said the deal, which also involved some angel investors, saw the investors fighting for a ‘yes’ instead of the founder.
“Our seed companies rarely have US$100 million [$130 million] product bookings and enough finances,” Ng tells Tech in Asia.
“[Revolution Precrafted] didn’t need to raise. I had to convince them to take my money for value-add, not cash.”
Antonio is also the managing director of Philippines-based family real estate group Century Properties and he ranks among the world’s top 100 art collectors, next to Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio and Sheikha Al-Mayassa, a member of Qatar’s ruling family.
“I’m almost obsessed with design and architecture,” Antonio said.
“I believe in design democratisation. It should not just be the upper echelons who should be able to afford great architecture.”
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