Philippines’ Unicorn Startup Nails $3.2 Billion Deal To Build Luxury Villas In Dubai

by Elyssa Christine Lopez, Esquire

The Philippines’ first unicorn, real estate startup Revolution Precrafted, has signed a landmark $3.2-billion agreement with a Dubai-based property developer that will bring its prefabricated designer structures to the famous man-made archipelago The World Islands in Dubai. It is Revolution Precrafted’s biggest deal so far.

A brainchild of the country’s youngest Forbes magazine rich-lister, Robbie Antonio, the startup signed the deal with Seven Tides for the design, supply and construction of condominium units and hotel villas on one of the artificial islands patterned after the global map. Seven Tides was reported to have bought a cluster of the artificial islands that make up “South America.” The project will be erected on a 2.4-million-square-meter structure named after Coronation Island in Alaska.

“We are proud and excited to partner with one of the best property developers not only in Dubai, but in the world. We will manufacture sophisticated, design-driven precrafted condominium apartments and hotel villas, consistent with the kind of luxurious structures the public have come to expect from us and Seven Tides,” Antonio said in a statement.

Based on the agreement, Revolution Precrafted will manufacture and supply two to three-bedroom prefabricated condominium apartments and hotel villas.

Dubai state-owned Nakheel Properties spearheaded the construction of the artificial islands in 2003, which was envisioned to rival its similar property in United Arab Emirates, Palm Jumeirah. However, work on the ambitious project stalled after the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008 as Dubai World, the emirate’s investment arm, had a hard time repaying its $60-billion debt. The project was resumed only fairly recently. 

“The luxurious look and feel of the condominium apartments and hotel villas will further elevate the status and image of the World Islands as the playground for the most affluent, and privileged residents from Dubai and beyond,” Seven Tides CEO Abdulla Bin Sulayem said. 

Revolution Precrafted’s deal with Seven Tides is on track with the company’s global expansion plan as it aims to sign projects in at least 20 countries this year. It is the company’s first massive property project abroad as it has previously signed agreements for residential communities based in the Philippines. 

In 2017, it signed a deal with Century Properties, the company chaired by Antonio’s father, Jose E.B. Antonio, to supply more than 15,000 precrafted homes in Batulao Artscapes and Flavorscapes, both of which are located in the province of Batangas in southern Luzon in the Philippines.

The startup made a name for tapping world-renowned architects to design precrafted home units, hotels and even furniture, which may be delivered across the globe. While founded only in 2015, the startup achieved unicorn status (or a startup with a total valuation of $1 billion) by October 2017 after it raised an undisclosed amount from a series B funding round led by a Singaporean venture capital firm K2 Global.

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