Robbie Antonio: Redefining Success with the Renaissance Touch
Going by its name, Revolution Precrafted has led a revolution in the prefab industry. The startup, within two years of operations, has reached unicorn status, which has placed Revolution Precrafted as the first unicorn startup in Philippines and one of the fastest growing companies in Southeast Asia. Led by visionary entrepreneur, Robbie Antonio, Revolution Precrafted is renowned as a global real estate marketplace that connects developers, fabricators, designers and customers, to create design driven projects and products, both traditional and prefab, around the globe.
Growing up from a business-oriented Antonio family that has been active in the Philippines’ property sector for over three decades now, Robbie always wanted to be an entrepreneur. He always wanted to establish his own company using his abilities, network and experiences. The fact that he grew up in a business-oriented family only intensified Robbie’s desire to become a businessman. Moreover, he was exposed to the real estate business at an early age which makes sense that he appreciated its intricacies and complexities. Robbie has become very familiar with almost all aspects of the business. But there was that desire to break out of the norm, and create something different and totally standout. He spent years doing his own research and has come to realize that there is so much potential and possibilities in the prefab industry.
One of the most prolific collectors of international modern and contemporary art
Currently, Robbie has 82 million square feet worth of developed, in-progress, and managed properties under his belt, being the Founder and President of Antonio Development in New York, Managing Director of Century Properties based in Asia, and the Founder and CEO of Revolution Precrafted. To date, he has worked with 13 Pritzker Prize Architects/firms such as Zaha Hadid, Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie, Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel, I.M.Pei, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and Christian de Portzamparc, as well as designers such as Ron Arad, Campana Brothers, Tom Dixon, Philippe Starck, and Marcel Wanders. He has worked with over 103 notable brands in various fields—including fashion, Hollywood, luxury, design, and art. He has established the largest number of luxury branded real estate developments across the globe, by working with Giorgio Armani for Armani Casa, Versace Home, Missoni Home, Paris Hilton, Lenny Kravitz and Wallpaper* Magazine.
Robbie is also one of the youngest and most prolific collectors of international modern and post-war contemporary art in the world. Because of his accomplishments as an art collector, he has received a number of awards from many organizations. In 2014, Artnet recognized him as one of “20 of the World’s Most Innovative Art Collectors,” while in 2015, he became part of Artnet’s “Top 200 Art Collectors Worldwide”. Artnet also recognized him with two awards in 2016: as one of twelve young art collectors to watch out for, as well as one of the top 100 art collectors for that year. This year, he was cited by BuiltWorld’s in its 2018 Mavericks Report as one of “25 Pioneers Who’ve Transformed the Built Industry.” In May 2018, he was named “Real Estate Personality of the Year” by PropertyGuru. Singapore Straits Time also named him as one of “50 Asians Who Are Changing The Way We Live.” His passion for art has also led him to collaborate with artists such as Marina Abramovich, Maurizio Catellan, Francesco Clemente, Damien Hirst, Zhang Huan, David La Chapelle, Marilyn Minter, Takashi Murakami, Julian Opie, and Julian Schnabel.
Bringing together 80 of the world’s leading architects, artists and designers
Brainchild of Robbie, Revolution Precrafted brings together over 80 of the world’s leading architects, artists, and designers including Sou Fujimoto, Daniel Libeskind, David Salle and celebrities such as Daphne Guinness, Helena Christensen + Camilla Stærk and Amar’e Stoudemire. Revolution supplies transportable, collectible, and customizable homes, pavilions, prefabricated museums, glamping, condominiums, hotels, villas, pop-up retail, pop-up F&B, pop-up offices, pop-up co-working spaces, art furniture, etc. to landowners, developers, and end users all over the world. To date, the unicorn startup has bagged around $9.1 Billion in projected gross market value (GMV for the company’s ongoing projects in 27 countries including the Philippines, Myanmar, United Arab Emirates, Jamaica, Guyana, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico and Japan. The company currently has projects in over 28 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, The Middle East, North and South America. These projects are in varying stages of master-planning and implementation. The firm operates on a B2B2C model so a lot of the preparatory works are courtesy of its partner developers.
Crafting a revolution for the ages
Robbie tells a story about the word Revolution Precrafted, “The word prefabricated is too obvious. I wanted to coin a term that would define what we do in a classier manner. At the same time, the word ‘precrafted’ is derived from the word craft, which can mean profession.” Since the inception of Revolution Precrafted, Robbie never faced major setbacks or challenges. The concept was met with approval and support from various stakeholders because of its strong business proposition. In fact, a lot of investors offered to put in capital early on because they really believe in what Robbie and his were trying to accomplish.
For Robbie, bringing together some of the world’s leading architects, artists and designers as a part of one grand project was really a very exciting time. Robbie has a deep passion for art, fashion and architecture and collaborating with some of the greatest minds in the world was just an experience not many people get to enjoy. Furthermore, seeing the finished designs made the team proud of what they were trying to do. “Imagine being able to create world-class home designs at relatively more affordable prices,” Robbie asserts.
One of the first!
In October 2017, ‘Revolution Precrafted’ achieved a remarkable feat of having ‘Unicorn Status’ as a privately-owned startup, on which Robbie says, “Before launching it to the public, we took the time to really perfect the business model and study its viability. We also took the time to partner with some of the world’s best architects, designers and artists to show to the world that our business model works- that it is possible to design homes, pavilions with popular and renowned artists, and offer these at lower cost. After seeing that our proposition is fool proof, investors expressed their confidence to invest in the company.”
When asked about how cheap is a prefabricated house compared to the traditional construction method, Robbie answers, “It’s difficult to give a specific amount since we have different designs and we do orders by bulk. This allows us to achieve economies of scale, not to mention that the prefab process cuts down the overall turnaround time of production, leading to significant savings and minimizing expenses. Generally speaking, you can achieve 10-15 percent savings with prefab.” He also tells the price range of Revolution Precrafted’s homes which is in between $20,000 to $360,000. Robbie has his basics homes designed by his internal architecture team, and he has also curated homes designed by 81 revolutionaries from around the world.
The reason, according to Robbie, why he decided to explore prefab is because he wanted the technology aspect of it. “We used advanced robotics to streamline our production processes. This is something that differentiates us even further from traditional homebuilding. Soon we will be adapting smart home technology in our homes too,” he says. Furthermore, talking about green technologies, Robbie adds, “We are exploring ways to further make our processes more sustainable but as it is, prefab homes are already energy efficient because they use a lot of glass. This encourages minimal usage of electricity for lighting. The insulation of prefab homes are also adjusted to make them more convenient and homey for customers.”
Focused on brand expansion while unveiling new units
Currently, Revolution Precrafted is in the middle of its brand expansion. While it was primarily a prefab company, Robbie and his team have expanded their products and services to include quasi-prefab and hybrid works in order to accommodate more projects around the world. They are also exploring at offering modular clinics, affordable homes, condos, hotels and low to mid-rise offices. Moreover, Robbie also has great interest in blockchain and STO, and he is venturing into hydroponics.
Revolution Precrafted is also unveiling a new unit named Renegade Branding Concepts that focuses mainly on franchise and licensing concepts. This is part of company’s strategy to fully utilize its partnership with some of the world’s best celebrities, and experts. Robbie has announced company’s partnership with world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao for the HITT boxing gym franchise. “We also announced TEMPO, a new biking gym that we conceptualized with Filipino celebrity and biking enthusiast. We will soon unveil a spa and salon partnership with Staerk&Christensen composed of supermodel Helena Christensen and design maven Camilla Staerk,” Robbie further adds.
“We feel that this new venture has a lot of potential based on the overwhelmingly positive ffeedback that we have received. We plan to bring these concepts globally as well and we are taking the steps to ensure a successful introduction on the global stage,” concludes Robbie.
Robbie’s other unique ventures
Led by Robbie, Renaissance Touch 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.
The next is Relevant Medium – 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. It’s Relevant Star Vendor Program skyrockets brand promotion, awareness, and revenue. With a reach of over 35m followers from different walks of life, Relevant medium provides unparalleled exposure and conversion potential. The company pairs vendors with expanding their market reach and converting this reach to a stable revenue stream.
Renegade Branding Concepts another venture which is a 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.