Vancouver-based green construction startup reaches unicorn status in record time

Sep 8 2021, 2:13 pm

It took just 31 months for Nexii Building Solutions to become a unicorn, the term to define a startup that reaches a valuation of over $1 billion. In fact, it is the fastest company to reach the unicorn milestone in Canadian history.

The Vancouver-based green construction company announced today it now has a post-money valuation of CAD$1.55 billion (USD$1.23 billion), including CAD$125 million (US$109 million) in equity raised.

The real potential in Nexii’s proprietary construction materials and building methodology continues to gain attention for not only its ability to significantly reduce greenhouse gases, but also for its ability to speed up construction timelines, lower construction costs, and eliminate the need for scaffolding.

Nexiite, their proprietary material, is seen as a replacement for concrete in certain applications and components of new building construction or renovations. It has a 20% to 33% lower carbon footprint, reduces overall energy use by 33%, and cuts heating energy by 55%.

Between 60% and 85% of the process is built off-site in factories, allowing for assembly in any weather conditions with fewer delays, and reducing construction waste.

Nexii

Example of Nexiite construction. (Nexii)

starbucks abbotsford nexii

Exterior of the newly completed Starbucks in Abbotsford using Nexii’s building technology. (Nexii)

“Never before has the work we’re doing at Nexii been so important. Buildings and construction account for 39% of global climate pollution, making the industry the number one driver of the climate crisis,” said former Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who is the executive vice president of Nexii.

“To help solve this, we must address the challenge of emissions from buildings and construction. That’s what we’re doing at Nexii, and that’s why such incredible partners are attracted to working with us.”

Founded in 2018, the company now has eight manufacturing plants in operation or in various stages of the development process, and a workforce of 300 staff.

For a startup of its kind, Nexii has a number of uniquely high profile board members, including Ronald Sugar (chairman of Uber and board director at Apple), Mike Roberts (former global president of McDonald’s), and David Taylor (president and CEO of Proctor & Gamble). With this leadership, Nexii is planning to scale across North America, and pursue international expansion.

The company has also partnered with building equipment supplier Honeywell, and actor Michael Keaton, who is now one of the owners for his investment towards the Nexii manufacturing plant in Pittsburgh.

To date, Nexii’s largest project is the Marriott Courtyard hotel currently under construction in downtown Nanaimo. When complete later this year, the nine-storey building next to the Vancouver Island Conference Centre will have 172 guest rooms.

The company has also built a number of standalone cafe and fast food buildings, including the envelope and structure of a Starbucks building constructed in just six days.

marriott courtyard nanaimo hotel 100 gordon street

Artistic rendering of the Marriott Courtyard Nanaimo hotel at 100 Gordon Street. (PEG)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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