AM Investment Strategies
AMS Spring 2023

Airbnb Alums Join House 3D Printing Startup Mighty Buildings

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Mighty Buildings, an Oakland-based additive construction (AC) firm, recently announced three key hires that fill crucial leadership positions at the company. This comes at a time when Mighty Buildings is in a transitional moment from startup to “scaleup”: according to the venture capital group NEXEA, “A scaleup company is essentially a high-growth business. …The scaleup phase is usually the most rapid and substantial stage of expansion, as well as the most challenging.”

AC startups have entered a new growth period as of late, while the technology, on the whole, seems to be once again attracting more interest around the globe. To put itself in the most advantageous possible position to continue its upward momentum in the current business environment, Mighty Buildings has added decades of experience to its team, bringing on three executives with some of the tech world’s most successful growth companies on their résumés.

For Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mighty Buildings has hired Russ Atassi, who most recently headed up research and development at Airbnb. Also working at Oculus, Apple, and Google, among other giant multinationals, throughout his 20 year career, Atassi — in addition to R&D — has a background in global supply chain management and hardware manufacturing operations.

Mighty Buildings has hired Rene Griemens as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Griemens previously served in the same capacity at Volocopter, a German company known as “the world’s first sustainable air mobility business”. Raising over $340 million for a firm specializing in electric air taxis is quite a feat, and this, along with Griemens’ 30 years of overall experience, should be a huge asset to Mighty Buildings’ efforts to attract investors over the next few years.

Finally, Mighty Buildings has hired another alum of Airbnb, Mark Aldrich, as its general counsel. Specifically, Aldrich led the legal team supporting Airbnb’s new product R&D, so he comes from the same exact division as Atassi. Adding two executives who already have a working relationship with each other should allow the company to really hit the ground running with its new leadership team.

In a press release, Slava Solonytsin, Mighty Buildings’ CEO, said, “I’m thrilled to have Russ, Rene and Mark join Mighty Buildings…as we expand our strategy to support our next stage of growth. The enormous experience and expertise they bring will accelerate the roll-out of our platform to enable developers to rapidly scale housing deployments… The opportunity and demand are massive, and today we have the team in place to not only tap into that demand, but to do so with minimal carbon footprint and enviable speed of execution.”

Having been one of the AC companies making the most headlines throughout the past couple years of the sector’s expansion, Mighty Buildings should be an interesting outfit to observe, as a metric of the industry’s general near-term status and growth. One final possibility to consider is that, given the background of two of the company’s new executives, Airbnb may be trying to figure out how to use AC to its benefit.

Images courtesy of Mighty Buildings

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