A rumor of Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk living in a $50,000 house made by Boxabl popped up last year after a tweet from the CEO mentioned the price of his home and a video showed a delivery.
An interview of Musk on the Full Send Podcast confirmed the purchase of a Boxabl home and has company founder Galiano Tiramani sharing details exclusively with Benzinga. A non-disclosure agreement had kept Tiramani quiet.
Selling to Musk: On last week’s Full Send Podcast, Musk was asked to clear up the rumors of owning a Boxabl. Musk confirmed he owns a prototype Boxabl.
Tiramani said Musk’s team saw a Twitter video back in the day of the first three prototypes that were built by hand and asked to buy them.
“We sold them one and delivered it at SpaceX,” Tiramani said. “I wasn’t able to talk about it because there was an NDA.”
Tiramani said things were quiet for a while after the delivery until a tweet from Musk mentioned living in a $50,000 house, linking the company to the world’s richest man.
“He kept saying cryptic things on Twitter and confusing people,” he said.
Tiramani noted it wasn’t too hard to stay quiet about the rumor as the company benefitted anyway with lots of attention from customers and the press.
“We got the benefit of that whether we said anything or not. We didn’t have to say anything,” he said, adding, “Everything Elon touches turns to gold for the most part.”
About Boxabl: Tiramani said the company started in 2017 with a bunch of prototypes and a goal of eventually producing one home per minute, similar to what automotive factories can do.
“Our technology enables mass production of housing, which wasn’t possible before,” he said.
The company’s first product is called the “Casita” and is a 20-foot by 20-foot home similar to a studio apartment that’s basically ready to go. The Casita ships as an eight-foot-wide container and has a bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bed.
“It’s the starting point for us,” he said.
The homes from Boxabl are energy efficient, structurally sound and come with hurricane wind ratings, Tiramani said.
The Boxabl founder calls the homes from his company a “superior product that costs less.”
Boxabl signed a deal with the U.S. Department of Defense for an initial order and also announced a partnership with leading homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc DHI earlier this year that includes an order for 100 units and investment in the company.
“They know about houses better than I do,” Tiramani said of D.R. Horton. “They don’t want to do it that way (traditional home building) if there’s a better way.”
The Boxabl founder said 90% of the housing market is site building the “old school” way with hammer and nails in the sun and rain. The company is hoping to work with existing contractors and turn them into customers.
The remaining 10% of the home building market that makes houses in factories has limited scaling opportunities due to shipping costs and restrictions, Tiramani added. Boxabls can ship anywhere.
“We destroy the labor costs, the overhead costs,” he noted.
Tiramani told Benzinga, “We have a really big customer waitlist,” currently at 120,000 units.
Boxabls on Mars?: Along with selling a prototype to Musk to use in Texas, the company is hoping it could work with him in the future.
Musk is planning to build Starbase Village in Texas near the SpaceX facility.
“We would love to supply Casitas for Starbase Village. We have them ready, so if he wants to give me a call,” Tiramani said.
Boxabl made a video that jokingly suggested the company could help Musk colonize Mars. While the Boxabl founder admits the video was silly, he also said it makes sense when you zoom out.
Shipping costs per cubic foot for a mission to Mars are a major factor to consider in the future. Boxabl’s technology and gasket system could make the company a contender for putting houses on Mars, Tiramani said.
“I think he [Musk] should take a look. Maybe we can colonize Mars with Boxabls,” Tiramani added.
What’s Next: The company has a factory in Las Vegas and is working on ramping up production capabilities with a second factory coming.
“We’re well on our way,” he said.
Tiramani said the company would build additional products and models, including new sizes such as 20 feet by 30 feet, 20 feet by 40 feet, and 20 feet by 60 feet. Plans for different sizes will also include the ability to stack and connect.
Tiramani said there is so much demand for houses that companies can’t build enough. The Boxabl founder is hoping to not only help with the problem of not enough houses but also help with costs and push prices down.
“The demand isn’t going anywhere. It’s a problem all over the world,” he said.
Boxabl is raising additional funds now. Interested parties can read the offering and invest in Boxabl through the company’s website.