The Silicon Review
Owning a home is an important milestone in life for most people. In addition to selecting a design, the joy of shopping for a new home and deciding upon the décor is one of the most memorable experiences for new homeowners. However, purchasing a new house is not without its own difficulties. Finding the right pricing, finalizing the ideal finance structure, waiting for the duration of the construction and the subsequent interior design, etc. constitute the more stressful aspects of home ownership. Additionally, building a designer home by hiring the right architect and decorator is also difficult. Revolution Precrafted is a construction company that aims to tackle all the problems usually associated with buying a new home with its revolutionary business model.
The interesting part about Revolution Precrafted’s services are the pre-fabricated homes. As the name indicates, the construction of these homes does not follow the conventional method of laying bricks and mortar. The houses come in neat and attractive pre-fabricated designs that make their construction almost as simple as unpacking a large gift. It seems like something out of a sci-fi Hollywood blockbuster, but Revolution Precrafted has turned it into a reality. It now offers a wide variety of beautiful modular homes designed by some of the world’s leading architects. What’s more, is that the designs can be selected online and customers can choose to have the house transported and assembled at the place of their choosing.
In conversation with the brains behind Revolution Precrafted, Robbie Antonio
Q. What was the motivation to start the company and how did it all come together?
The idea behind Revolution Precrafted came about after observing a lot of the current tech giants like Airbnb and Grab. I’ve always wanted to create an asset-light company that can expand to more geographic locations without the usual problems of funding and manpower. But then again, I am heavily exposed to the field of real estate and this is an industry that I was passionate about. So I tried to create an asset-light company in the field of real estate.
I was thinking of new possibilities in real estate then I came up with the idea of creating branded prefab structures, believing that there is great potential there. It’s true that even before we launched, there were a lot of prefab companies already but no one is doing units designed by celebrities, designers and artists. So that was a niche segment that I thought can be explored.
People have a lot of misconceptions and wrong ideas about prefab structures. They feel that anything prefabricated is substandard and unreliable and that it cannot be beautiful and impressive. I wanted to challenge that notion. I wanted to prove that by partnering with great artists and designers, we can create a new line of prefab structures that we can all be proud of. On top of that, we also wanted to challenge the industry. We wanted to democratize design by making it more affordable and accessible to people.
Q. How did you decide upon the market?
There is definitely a global demand for homes as the global population continues to increase. This is true even among different regions and socioeconomic brackets. Specifically in our target SEA market, millions of people have no access to decent homes.
We believe that as a global real estate marketplace, we will be able to address the increasing demand for homes, regardless if they are traditional or prefabricated homes. We have the speed and technology to be able to respond to this concern and the fact that we can deliver homes anywhere on the planet, puts us in a position to be able to help.
Q. How is your company positioned in the current market scenario?
While our original model focused on celebrity-designed structures that cater to the middle class and to the more affluent clientele, we have expanded our product portfolio to include affordable homes in order to be more accessible and responsive to a wider market. We have also created F&B and retail pop-up designers to complement our residential developments. We are also continuously signing new designer partners whom we refer to as revolutionaries, in order to create a more dynamic cache of home designs. Our goal is to be able to evolve and continue to grow so that we will always have something new to offer to our customers.
On top of that, we are exploring the possibility of expanding to vertical projects. At the moment, we are building a lot of horizontal residential projects but we also want to build low to mid-rise apartments to be able to increase the land efficiency on certain projects like those located in modern suburban centers.
Q. What are the specific problems in the industry that your company addresses?
Prospective homeowners complain about the exorbitant cost of homebuilding. They also lament the slow process and the generic designs of homes. Revolution Precrafted specifically responds to the demand of the market by offering prefabricated homes that can be built in as fast as 60-90 days and at a fraction of the cost. The company also partners with the world’s best architects, designers, and artists to create beautiful designs regardless if they specialize in traditional homes or prefab homes. We give customers more options in terms of how they want their homes to look like. By addressing the common pain points of most customers, we are able to encourage more people to finally have their own homes. We also make it convenient for homeowners who do not have the budget to finance lengthy construction periods.
Q. What sets Revolution Precrafted apart from its competitors?
While there are other traditional and prefab companies out there, Revolution Precrafted is the only company that leverages on celebrity branding. We have worked with the likes of Pritzker winners ZahaHadid, Jean Nouvel, and Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie architects among others. We have also worked with celebrities such as Lenny Kravitz, Manny Pacquiao, OzwaldBoateng, Daphne Guiness and Helena Christensen and Camilla Staerk among others. By partnering with some of the most creative people on the planet, we create design-driven homes and structures that certainly be considered as works of art. Branding a home or any structure, not only elevates the aesthetics of a home, but it also increases the market value, and by having more than 80- designers and artists from all over the world, we have a wealth of designs our customers can choose from.
Unlike most of our competitors, our products are not limited to just homes; we also offer transportable pavilions, furniture, museums, glamping accommodations, retail pop-ups, as well as low to mid-rise apartments.
Q. Could you give a brief overview of your company’s offerings?
Revolution supplies prefabricated homes, pavilions, museums, pop-ups, and other related verticals. It also acts as a global marketplace that connects developers, fabricators, suppliers, and customers. Our goal is to create design-driven homes, and communities. We operate on a B2B2C and asset-light business model. So what we do is partner with developers, to create residential concepts. We then tap designers, fabricators, suppliers to execute projects according to the vision and preference of our customers.
We build both traditional and prefab structures, as well as quasi-prefab homes.
Q. Can you talk about the journey of your company, right from its inception?
Launched in December 2015, Revolution Precrafted has received global interest because of its unique business model. It also gained popularity due to its partnership with some of the world’s biggest names in design and architecture. By October 2017, it has become a unicorn company (a startup, valued at over $1billion). Since then, it has expanded its footprint to 31 markets in Asia, Europe, Africa, North, Central, and South America. Some of its key projects are the $1.1 billion BatulaoArtscapes which is envisioned to be the World’s First Livable Art Park and the $750 million RevolutiomnFlavorscapes Project in the Philippines.
From a measly team of 5 in 2015, the company has grown to over 100 office-based employees and some 800 sales agents.
Since 2015, we have also created related companies such as RenegadeBranding Concepts, one-stop shop marketplace and destination for franchising and licensing concepts and offers an unparalleled list of possible retail and business opportunities, in partnership with some of the biggest celebrities and influencers. It is a gateway to unique, out of the ordinary, licensing ideas on shopping, beauty, fitness and wellness, fashion and home design with the main goal of offering prospective entrepreneurs and customers alike with a convenient and worry-free experience. Through careful curation, Renegade Branding Concepts identifies the brands that appeal to customers across different socio-economic classes, preferences and passions. The company elevates products and services to a whole new level of style, elegance and value, appealing to the global marketplace.
We are incubating our interior design marketplace called Renaissance Touch. It is a first-of-its-kind online marketplace for furnishing and decorating interior spaces with the inspiration from celebrities, top interior designers, artists and fashion designers. It offers a one-stop shop services to help customers to create and attain their dream interiors on time, within their budget and with guaranteed quality. Customers can browse the company’s portfolio of interior designs curated by celebrities, use its interactive platform to customize interiors to their preferences and budgets, and pick and choose furnishings and home décor items.
We also have our social media influencer platform called Relevant Medium. It is Southeast Asia’s first ever integrated marketplace designed to connect modern day influencers with their fans in a one-stop-shop for Ecommerce, curated brands, and virtual-in-life channel engagement. Connection via brand representation is our game. Customer experience and addictiveness is our DNA. With a current reach of over 35m followers from different walks of life, Relevant medium provides stars a platform to connect not only with their existing followers but also other Relevant Stars’ followers. We also give each star an opportunity to shine by expanding their market reach and converting this reach to a stable revenue stream.
Q. Who are some of your biggest clients? Which sections of the industry do you think could see the maximum growth?
We are an agnostic company which technically allows us to partner with any company around the world. But since we operate on a B2B2C model, we mostly deal with developers who want to monetize their land. We enter into a supply agreement which requires them to take care of land and site development while we take care of supplying the homes and creating the overall concept of residential development. Since becoming a marketplace, we have expanded our operations and we also deal with fabricators, suppliers, and brokers who want to connect to the rest of the world.
At the moment, our projects are mostly horizontal developments, where we build a mixture of both curated homes and basic homes. We have been very successful at this particular niche but we have started to offer low-rise apartments and condominiums to respond to the overwhelming demand for homes.
About the founder of Revolution Precrafted, Robbie Antonio
Robbie Antonio serves as the CEO of Revolutions Precrafted. He has personally conceptualized, negotiated, sourced and launched projects in Manila with lifestyle game-changers including Donald Trump for Trump Tower Manila, the tallest building in the Philippines, and Paris Hilton for the Paris Beach Club at Azure Urban Resort Residences, the American celebrity and businesswoman’s first real estate venture.
Robbie is responsible for a number of unique fashion-branded real estate developments which includes The Milano Residences in partnership with Versace, the fastest-selling Versace Home interior-designed condominium project in the world and the first in Southeast Asia, in collaboration with MISSONIHOME for the brand’s first residential development in the world.