Announcing our $25 million fundraise

Announcing our $25 million fundraise

Monumental raises $25 million co-led by Plural and Hummingbird to scale its AI-powered, autonomous construction robots across Europe

  • Monumental is on a mission to transform the construction industry with efficient, AI-driven construction robots capable of building walls autonomously
  • It’s the first time AI, autonomous tech and low-cost hardware have been combined in this way to create construction robots capable of working on-site
  • The company was founded in 2021 by CEO Salar al Khafaji and CTO Sebastiaan Visser – co-founders of data visualisation firm Silk, acquired by Palantir in 2016
  • New funding will be used to grow Monumental’s team, scale the number of robots it can deploy and increase the types of blocks and construction tasks the robots can manage

Amsterdam, 15th February 2024
: Monumental – the robotics startup on a mission to solve the labour, cost and sustainability challenges crippling the global construction industry – has raised $25 million in funding led by Plural and Hummingbird. Northzone, Foundamental, NP-Hard Ventures and Material Ventures, as well as high-profile angel investors, also participated. The funding will help Monumental grow its world-class team of hardware and software engineers, scale the number of robots it can deploy on sites across Europe and increase the types of blocks and construction tasks the robots can manage.

Founded by serial entrepreneurs Salar al Khafaji (CEO) and Sebastiaan Visser (CTO), former founders of Silk which was acquired by Palantir in 2016, Monumental builds construction robots. Its small, electric, agile, autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs) move freely around the rough terrain of building sites to help contractors address labour shortages and rising costs, with an initial focus on bricklaying. Across Europe, over half (57%) of countries are facing a severe shortage of bricklayers. In the UK alone, there’s an estimated shortfall of 75,000 bricklayers needed to build the 300,000 houses needed annually by 2025, while 82 million Europeans are said to be overburdened and at risk of homelessness due to a lack of affordable housing. All of which is holding back productivity in the global construction industry.

Monumental’s robots have been built to solve these needs. Fitted with advanced sensors, cutting-edge computer vision and small cranes, each Monumental robot can place bricks and mortar in industrial and residential walls with human-level precision, accuracy and efficiency. Each is operated by Monumental’s AI-powered software, Atrium, and is small enough to go anywhere a human can, whether that’s in tight corners, through doorways, or in a van.

Contractors hire Monumental as a subcontractor to bring in its robots to work as bricklayers autonomously, across the site and alongside humans. This removes the financial risk to contractors involved in purchasing and operating the machines while also reducing the technical risk of having to learn and validate the tech.

Novel approach to a global problem

Through this novel approach, Monumental is not only pioneering a breakthrough category within construction, but it’s also helping to address the challenges facing the building industry worldwide. A recent study estimated that construction robots could increase productivity by 50-60%, with the global construction market on track to reach $15.5 trillion by 2030, and adopting new technology central to this growth.

Yet to date, solutions have either added more expense, been built to work off-site, been too large to feasibly work alongside humans or focused on prefab, modular projects. None have been capable of shifting the dial in terms of sustainable, affordable, mass-scale construction. By comparison, Monumental's electric robots offer a sustainable and immediate solution to keep pace with global demands. They help keep project costs and times on track, addressing the growing shortage of skilled labour.

Following pilot test cases in the Netherlands, Monumental completed its first large-scale, 15-metre facade for an office and warehouse building in 2023. It has since deployed its robots on several other projects, including social housing and has partnerships with multiple top 25 general contractors.

Salar al Khafaji, co-founder and CEO at Monumental, said: “The construction industry is one of the largest and most important in the world, yet it’s held back by global labour shortages and rising supply chain costs. At Monumental, we’re working to help the industry meet these challenges. Our agile, intelligent, and adaptable robots and software blend human expertise with robotic efficiency in a way that the industry has never seen before. They will revolutionise not just how buildings are constructed but transform the economics of the construction industry itself. We’re delighted to have this stellar team of investors joining us on this mission."

Sten Tamkivi, Partner at Plural said: “Monumental’s approach is the perfect coming together of ambition and expertise, the rising power and impact of AI, and the shrinking cost and size of cutting-edge hardware to address an industry that’s at breaking point. Something significant has to happen if we’re to meet the housing demands of millions and reduce the economic and environmental burden of the built world and Monumental is going to be something significant.”

Firat Ileri, Partner at Hummingbird, said: “Europe’s infrastructure has been suffering from the shortage of skilled labourers for years and we’re excited to support Monumental and its innovative approach to solving this challenge. Monumental’s robots won’t just improve efficiencies on building sites, but the technology has the potential to enhance safety, optimise workflows and attract more talent into the field who are excited to learn new skills. We’re confident Monumental will deliver long-term benefits for the industry and society as a whole."

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Joining Monumental

Monumental is at a massive inflection point. We’ve de-risked the technology that has killed many attempts in this space before, figured out a business model that works and have strong customer demand. It’s not every day that a hard tech startup reaches this juncture.

We built a small but exceptional team, driven by a love for innovation, a desire for better, and the ambition to make a dent in a civilization-scale problem.

Join our mission to bring automation to the construction industry to create affordable, beautiful, high quality housing for everyone.