In the face of America’s current housing market, tiny homes and accessory dwelling units (ACUs) have become increasingly popular alternatives to renting spaces or purchasing a home. Unlike traditional buildings, these smaller units can be built in factories and moved to any suitable location, making them cheaper and possibly more environmentally friendly.
Boxabl is part of this trend, building factory-assembled ACUs that can be shipped to a location, unpacked, and made ready for human habitation in less than a day. Among its other achievements, Boxabl is launching its first factory and has already landed a deal with the US government. We reached out to Galiano Tiramani, its director and one of its co-founders, to hear more about the company’s goals and learn what makes it a solution to the housing market’s problems.
Note: This interview was conducted over phone and email. It has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Can you give us a brief elevator pitch for your company?
Boxabl is mass-producing a new type of housing in a factory. We are taking one of the biggest markets in the world (building construction) out of the dark ages of building by hand and moving it into the factory. Our goal is to dramatically lower housing costs for the world. We have huge technological breakthroughs that will make it possible to mass-produce housing on scale and for a price that has not been possible.
What inspired you to take the leap and build this company?
We wanted to solve a big problem and have a huge impact. Out of many ideas, Boxabl emerged as a massive opportunity that deserved 100% of our energy and focus. I can’t think of a bigger industry or a bigger problem to solve.
What past experiences prepared you to start, build, and lead your company?
I have always been an entrepreneur. This includes many failures but more successes. One of the most important traits needed for success is perseverance. Grind away day after day, and you can build amazing things.
What is your vision for the future of the industry you are operating in?
We seek to transform building construction across the entire world. Our system consists of different sized room modules with different interior configurations that stack and connect to build any building. Right now, 90% of buildings in the world are built by hand, one at a time. We would prefer if 90% of buildings were built in the factory — by Boxabl. It seems like a grand vision, but if we can produce housing at below-market rates for construction and scale that production, this could transform the industry. It would be a no-brainer.
Who is on your team and how did you come together?
I founded Boxabl with my father Paolo Tiramani and an employee from one of his previous companies, Kyle Denman. After years with a small team focused on R&D, we are now ready to turn on a monster factory. As a result, we are quickly staffing up and bringing on talent from a range of backgrounds.
Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?
We seek to turn our competition (site builders) into customers. We hope to provide traditional builders with a system that can dramatically reduce their build time and costs. We want to provide architecturally neutral building blocks that are 90% complete and make builders’ and developers’ lives easy. Other startups are making attempts to do factory-built housing, but we don’t see any with significant innovations or differences from the factory-built model, which hasn’t worked in the past.
What does your business model look like?
Boxabl will mass-produce standardized room modules at our factory in Las Vegas and sell them to end users, who use them to build finished buildings. We already have the government as a customer and a list of over 40,000 people signed up to buy our product. Boxabl is starting by producing our smallest room module 20×20 and selling it as a studio apartment. We are initially targeting California, as it has passed laws allowing accessory dwelling units. This is a perfect, rapidly growing market for Boxabl to start in.
What brought you to equity crowdfunding and how do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?
As we examined different fundraising strategies, we came across crowdfunding, and it seems to have very little downside. Building up an investor base who become customers and cheerleaders helps to further our cause. Maintaining control over the company and calling the shots is attractive vs going with other institutions. It seemed to be a great fit, as we have repeatedly sold out crowd raises and oversubscribed. We even raised $4 million on StartEngine in 13 days, setting a record.
What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?
I want investors to understand how desperate this industry is for a solution. Housing problems are growing around the world: Builders can’t keep up, and housing shortages are driving up prices. This is a massive opportunity to disrupt one of the largest markets in the world and move it out of a pre-industrial state and into the same factory principles that make all our other modern products available and affordable. At first glance, Boxabl has a shipping solution that crushes the competitors, but beyond that, we have a long list of huge innovations that give our company the potential to be massive.
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? have you set any future goals for the company?
Our goal is to become a publicly traded company after we prove the concept in factory one. This could happen within a few years. At that point, we will immediately try to scale. We want to go from our 170,000 foot starter factory into a 1,700,000 foot mega-factory that uses best-in-class, automobile-style manufacturing processes and automation. We also have plans to scale around the world by using a franchise partner factory model. We want to enable others to use our system in their country and turn on Boxabl factories all around the world.
We are excited to see where Galiano and his team take the company. Boxabl is currently raising on StartEngine.