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Temur Durrani

Multi-Platform Writer


It’s not the first ever unicorn, but it could be the quickest and might just be the greenest.

Nexii Building Solutions Inc., a Vancouver-based company that designs and constructs energy-efficient buildings, believes it's the first ever Canadian firm to reach the coveted unicorn status of having a $1-billion valuation in less than three years. 

The latest round of funding for Nexii comes from global manufacturing giants Honeywell International Inc. and Trane Technologies PLC, among other investors. It’s a $45-million equity investment that puts the company’s valuation over and above the billion-dollar edge, now sitting at $1.55 billion.

After being founded in late 2018 as a small startup in Saskatchewan, Nexii has quickly made a name for itself in global construction circles. 

The firm is specifically known for its proprietary alternative to wood, steel and concrete called “Nexiite” — a cement-like material that touts itself for producing less than a third of the carbon output of other conventions, while reducing building times by up to 75 per cent. 

“It’s not just about Nexii and what the unicorn status means for us,” said Executive Vice-President Gregor Robertson, who is also a former mayor of Vancouver, in a phone interview Wednesday.

“But it’s about what more can happen now because of this.” 

“In my time, both in the private and public sector, I’ve realized how important it is that we’re all contributing in the greatest way possible to climate change solutions,” Robertson added. “There really is no other way to secure a livable future.”

Nexii has been on a recent deal-signing spree, filing agreements with restaurants such as A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc. and Starbucks Corp. to provide building materials. 

Nexii has eight manufacturing plants in either the late development stage or in operation across North America. Two of those are partnerships with award-winning actor Michael Keaton and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco.

“Yes, it is true that most of our investments are coming from the U.S.,” Robertson said. “But we’re still planning on keeping our base in Canada and growing out of here.”