Specifically, the firm has received Regulation A+ qualification, a form of exemption from registering for a public offering, that allows a business’ shares to be bought by accredited and non-accredited investors. Under SEC terms, now the move has been green-lit, Apis Cor could raise as much as $75 million over the next 12 months from selling stock, depending on both its share pricing and investor demand.
“We are so pleased to reach this milestone in our journey to revolutionize the construction industry,” said Anna Cheniuntai, CEO of Apis Cor. “We have dedicated a lot of time and effort to not only developing this tech, but also providing people with the opportunity to join us in reimagining how construction works.”
Apis Cor’s ‘Frank’ technology
Founded in Russia by Nikita and Anna Cheniuntai, before being moved to the US, Apis Cor specializes in the development of construction additive manufacturing technologies. Much of the firm’s offering revolves around its ‘Frank’ mobile 3D printer, which is said to be capable of erecting buildings up to three stories in height with ‘unlimited square footage.’
The company has also developed a ‘Gary’ mixing and pumping unit, designed to ensure that construction materials remain at high viscosity and yield repeatable builds, as well as a ‘Mary’ material delivery system, which is essentially a vacuum-sealed container that can be used to transport printing materials while protecting them from contaminants.
Leveraging its technologies, the company has built a number of proof-of-concept structures around the world, including a building in Dubai that holds the Guinness World Record as the largest ever of its kind. Recently, however, Apis Cor has focused its efforts closer to home, unveiling plans to 3D print a luxury home on the US Space Coast last year, which is set to be listed for $750,000 on the housing market.
As a continuation of these efforts to commercialize, the firm has launched Apis Cor University as well, a self-styled online concrete 3D printing ‘knowledge hub,’ on which it markets lesson packages for up to $749. Likewise, the business has opened its first 3D printed home showroom in Avenue Viera, Florida, in which it aims to showcase its technology and attract new clientele.
A potentially-lucrative ‘mini-IPO’
In essence, gaining Regulation A+ qualification offers private companies an alternative to going public, that allows them to raise capital by offering their shares to investors, without having to undergo a full initial public offering (IPO). Sometimes dubbed ‘mini-IPOs,’ these share offerings can often be carried out with lower legal and audit costs than regular IPOs, while the SEC filing process is also much faster.
First introduced as part of the US JOBS Act in 2012, before being signed into law in 2015, Regulation A+ is designed to provide smaller firms with an easier means of accessing capital. Effectively split into ‘Tiers’ 1 and 2, offerings under this regulation allow firms to raise as much as $20 million and $75 million respectively over a period of 12 months, although they still remain subject to certain limitations.
When it comes to Tier 2 offerings, the amount of money a non-accredited backer can invest is capped, while these transactions continue to be subject to the anti-fraud provisions of the SEC’s federal securities laws, meaning that those selling shares are still responsible for ensuring that they don’t make false or misleading statements about their business.
Although Apis Cor hasn’t specified which Tier qualification it has been granted, the upshot of the above is that it’s now able to attract new US investors. While the company is currently backed by VC firms Alchemist Accelerator and At One Ventures, it believes that with further investment, it could be able to expand on its portfolio in a way that allows it to address even further construction applications.
“We’ve been refining the process, fighting to reclaim seconds, then minutes from the overall construction time – leading to increasing gains,” added Cheniuntai. “We’re working to shave months and years from typical construction times, to help people who are most at-need of housing – people who can’t afford to wait, and we’re creating fully-autonomous equipment that can print buildings on Earth and beyond.”
“We are passionate about developing more technologies and solutions to expedite the entire construction process – just like Henry Ford did by automating the car manufacturing business.”
Penetrating a $16.6 trillion market
Citing market research valuing the global construction market at $16.6 trillion, Apis Cor says the money raised via its share offering will enable it to “lead the way” in carving out a niche in the sector for concrete 3D printing. However, the Floridian firm is not the only developer of the technology seeking to better commercialize it, and plenty of others have also raised significant capital towards this cause.
One of construction 3D printing’s early leaders, ICON, raised $207 million in Series B funding in August 2021, a lot more than Apis Cor stands to gain from its share offering. The company’s fundraising followed the listing of its first homes on the US housing market, which based at the East 17th Street development, were said to start at $450,000 each.
Californian construction start-up Mighty Buildings also brought in another $22 million worth of funding in July 2021, taking its total raised up to $100 million. Leveraging its portfolio of 3D printing, robotics, and advanced composite materials, the firm pledged at the time to spend the additional investment on accelerating its carbon neutrality roadmap, and expanding its supply chain network.
Over in Germany, meanwhile, the PERI Group continues to make progress with the commercialization of the 3D printing technology belonging to COBOD, a firm it currently owns a minority stake in. Leveraging a BOD 2 system, PERI has managed to erect an entire three-floor apartment building in Wallenhausen, which has reportedly been divided into flats and marketed on the country’s housing market.
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Featured image shows Apis Cor’s record-breaking 3D printed building in the UAE. Image via Apis Cor.