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Robbie Antonio is the man behind powerhouse company Revolution Precrafted. An innovative company that strives to bring both art & architecture to more than just the wealthy elite. By combining prefab and luxury living, exclusively designed by top notch architects, artists and designers worldwide, making it more affordable and accessible to many prospective buyers and developers. This lofty goal stems from his love of art, architecture and the ethos of democratic design – the guiding principle of his company.
He is the son of Jose E.B. Antonio, owner of Century Properties. Prior to founding Revolution Precrafted, he was its Managing Director responsible for spearheading big projects such as the Trump Tower in Manila, Paris Hilton’s collection of condos, Milano Resides by Versace, Acqua Livingstone by Missoni Home, and first in the world, the Forbes Tower. In his interview with Tech Wire Asia, he admitted to completing about “US$2.1 billion worth of branded deals for the family business.” He’s had years of learning and understanding the pain points in real estate and used this hands on experience as inspiration to start up his own company.
Robbie is the youngest to be included in Forbes’ 2017 list of the 50 richest people in the Philippines. He graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, and an MBA from Stanford University. Founded Antonio Development, gained experience as Managing Director of Century Properties and founded Revolution Precrafted in December 2015. He is as an avid art collector and has been recognized many times over throughout the years by Artnet and Builtworlds. Placed alongside the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Bernard Arnault. His obsession with art is one of the influencing factors for his development of accessible, branded designer homes.
“My inspiration for the project came from my own passion and experience in art collection. I wanted to make architecture collectible, but an accessible price point.”
Revolution Precrafted, the first ever unicorn of the Philippines with its valuation at US$ 1 billion, with subsequent investment and funding from 500 startups and K2 Global in 2017. Supplies transportable, designer exclusive properties that are highly customizable. Structures such as modular homes, condominiums, pavilions, pop-up retail stores and fitness centers. These has been made available through collaboration with world-renowned architects and designers like Zaha Hadid, David Salle, Tom Dixon and Marcel Wanders.
Robbie Antonio has worked with 13 Pritzker Prize winners more than any other person in the world. He loves working with the best people and considers it a privilege to learn from them. The only instruction he gave to his designers is for the structure to be 50 to 250 square meters with components able to fit into shipping containers easily. This type of branded collaboration isn’t a new business concept, it has been done before in retail by Rodarte for Target and Balmain for H&M, but it is a novel idea for the real estate industry. It produces design that is inherently different and drives up the value of the buildings and eliminates the idea that prefab homes are cheap.
“We have intellectual property over all these names, you can get them at a ridiculously high price and wait a number of years, or get it from us in three months at a much cheaper price… We are the only branded housing company in the world.”
Manufactured offsite, shipped and assembled at any given place, investing in these prefabricated homes means you don’t have to go through hiring your own architect, or the hassle of assembling a team of contractors, builders or manufacturers, or wait a long time to move into your newly constructed house. A 50 square-meter home can be assembled as fast as 90 days. Average price is US$120,000.
“We are the complete antithesis of the traditional real estate company. We cater to the world. We do not have to be site-specific, buy land, take out construction loans, or have inventory.”
Robbie admits to being inspired by Airbnb’s simple business model of no land, zero inventory, a global footprint, and the ability to use technology in a disruptive way, something that he wants for his own company to achieve. With low expenditures, no land ownership where it’s forced to sell in particular sites, and structures being built as quickly as three months, it gets its cash flow quicker than the traditional brick and mortar firms. As of March 2017, the company has booked US$110 million orders for real estate projects.
“I would like to believe we have fundamentally transformed the real estate/property development sector by introducing affordability, accessibility, simplicity, convenience, and sustainability to an otherwise intimidating, complicated and generally expensive industry.” He further states that the factors contributing to his startup’s success is “predicated on addressing the most common pain points of home buyers – speed, quality, cost, design, and complexity of the process.” He envisions Revolution Precrafted as the future “Ikea of homebuilding.”
Even though the company’s main markets lie in Southeast Asia, it has already started making moves to penetrate American, Middle-Eastern and European markets.