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A/O backs ConTech company 011h in their €10mn round to lead industry transformation

December 11, 2020

011h is a next-generation construction company, founded with the aim of using technology to create high-quality, affordable residential buildings with a focus on health and sustainability.

The company is led by a group of experienced entrepreneurs who are renowned in the area of technology, headed by Lucas Carné and José Manuel Villanueva, founders of Privalia.

This founding team is joined by José Ojeda (GFG and Lyst), Josep Barberá (Privalia and Mango), Alex Valls (Social Point and Exoticca), and finally, by Juan Velayos, previously CEO of Renta Corporación and Neinor, who will also form part of the board.

The company employs more than 20 professionals with digital profiles (CTO and CDO), designers (architects and engineers) and senior managers in supply chain, manufacturing, and construction. The company is focused on the construction of “smart buildings” equipped with all the necessary technology to make life more comfortable for residents, and easier for Build-to-Rent asset managers and owners.

Furthermore, this approach enables them to reduce operation and maintenance costs, thereby improving their return on investment
The company already has three projects planned for 2021, with construction of the first building starting as early as March.

Initially, the company will focus on its activities in Spain, although there are plans to expand in Europe in the near future.

Addition of leading technology investors

011h is an ambitious and revolutionary company that began with an initial investment of €2 million provided by its founders. Now 011h adds a seed round of €8 million of external capital, underwritten by investors including venture capital funds specialist in PropTech -A/O PropTech, and ConstrucTech – Foundamental, the founder of Index Ventures, Giuseppe Zocco, and Cultivate, the Angel Network founded by Blossom Capital.

The success of the funding round is proof that there is a huge opportunity to transform what is one of the most significant sectors in the global economy and one with great potential for innovation. The significant financial support the company has received further reinforces the company’s financial security and demonstrates the robustness of the project with an eye on its initial activities and future growth.

"We are excited to back the 011h team as they set out to solve two fundamental challenges which currently plague the construction industry: efficiency and sustainability. 011h has the potential to usher in a new era for the industry.” - Gregory Dewerpe, Founder A/O PropTech

Digitalization and Industrialization

Created midway through 2020, the company was born out of a comprehensive vision of industrializing and digitalizing the construction industry’s entire value chain. 011h’s proposal covers everything from architecture and engineering to supply, manufacturing, construction, and digital support, all for optimal operation and maintenance of the building.

To achieve this, 011h has brought together a network of partners (material and industrial suppliers, architects, software/BIM engineering firms, construction companies, etc.) with great experience and recognition in their fields. Based on a model of transparency, collaboration, and efficiency, this network will enable them to offer an end-to-end construction service.

Regarding this, José Manuel Villanueva, co-founder and co-CEO of 011h, states that “the company is centered around people and values of transparency, honesty, and sustainability, all values which are essential for establishing a new relationship model with its stakeholders.”

One of the key aspects of 011h’s business model is that the company is focused on designing and creating the different building elements in factories to achieve better final quality and improve the productivity of the entire construction process. Then, the different elements are delivered to the construction site, where they are easily assembled, reducing waste and errors, and also mitigating on-site risks and accidents.

José Ojeda, co-founder and COO, notes that “the company’s success will be to achieve a radical transformation of the construction industry we know today into a sector which is more industrial, collaborative, technological, efficient, transparent, and sustainable.” Ojeda also added, “Furthermore, the transformation of the industry will help create a range of high-quality homes at affordable prices.”

For all these reasons, 011h offers customers a top-quality service regarding building design quality, the reduction of timescales and costs, and the absolute certainty of meeting scheduled milestones and ensuring quality control throughout the entire construction process.

For his part, Alex Valls, co-founder and CPO, points out that “The construction industry is the only industry that has not improved its productivity in the last 30 years, whilst productivity in other sectors has more than doubled. The reason for this is that technology and innovation have still not reached the construction industry”

Heath and Sustainability

The construction industry is both directly and indirectly responsible for 30% of CO2 emissions. 011h wants to contribute towards the sustainable development of cities and help reverse climate change through buildings that are carbon-neutral throughout their entire life cycle. To achieve this, they will use certified engineered wood as the main construction material and apply passive design strategies with renewable primary energy installations.

The company will also put great importance on the health and wellbeing of people, employing the latest air renewal systems and, besides the wood and its biophilia effect, using other non-toxic materials. Their homes will also enjoy increased thermal comfort, better acoustics, and lighting.

The fact that the company is taking a step forward in environmental, health and socially inclusive standards provides added value to both the end-user and institutional capital invested in “Build to Rent”. The end-user, in particular, is increasingly more demanding with regards to sustainability and is more conscious of the importance of their home for their health and comfort.

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