A La Jolla-based company that makes modular manufactured homes – Dvele- has gotten $15 million from investors in a new round of financing.
Dvele will use the money primarily to improve its manufacturing operations in Loma Linda, developing what it calls “a smart factory system” in its 75,000-square-foot foundry that will include a robotic production line, said Brandon Weiss, a co-founder of the company and its chief innovation officer.
“That’s not to displace human workers. It’s just to prioritize what they do,” Weiss said. “We still need the people to put these things together and run the wiring.”
The company has a workforce of about 94 with a staff of eight in its La Jolla headquarters, 72 in the Loma Linda factory, and about 13 in its offices in Canada, Weiss said, but the staff is growing.
“We’ve been consistently hiring and we’ll be doing that for the foreseeable future,” Weiss said.
Without the new investment, Weiss said production at the Loma Linda plant had reached capacity with 14 projects on the floor as of mid-June.
“We’ve basically reached the point where our production line is full through this year and into next year,” Weiss said.
Adding robotics and making other improvements should increase Dvele’s production by at least 30%, Weiss said.
Orders for Dvele homes have come primarily from the western U.S. – California, Utah, Colorado and Arizona.
Ultimately, Dvele hopes to go national.
“We have ambitions of trying to bring mass produced projects that are self-powered and do whole developments of Dvele homes,” Weiss said.
The latest investment will help in developing computer software programs so the production system in Loma Linda can be duplicated elsewhere and allow the company to grow.
“Once we have increased our production to the maximum our building can handle, there are plans to open up additional factories,” Weiss said. “We want to start spreading out so we can start serving key geographic areas where we see our concept of building and the way we’re building really makes sense. We’re starting the eastward movement.”
The latest round of investors in Dvele was led by Crescent Real Estate, LLC, the Marvin Family of Brands, and Green Builder Media.
“There will certainly be additional rounds coming,” Weiss said.
The company’s name is a tribute to the Norwegian heritage of co-founders Kurt and Kris Goodjohn.
Dvele is a Norwegian word that means to dwell.
The company was formed in 2018 and in 2020 moved its headquarters to the Bird Rock neighborhood of La Jolla.
“We’re excited to use this capital toward further fulfilling our mission of building a healthier future for the planet and its inhabitants,” Kurt Goodjohn said. “Refining our production cycle will allow us to swiftly scale our services in states across the U.S. by implementing our data-driven, end-to-end solution for the home buying experience.”
Dvele homes are made by combining modules manufactured in Loma Linda. The homes are self-powered through the use of solar panels and backup battery systems and come with sophisticated technology that use artificial intelligence to monitor indoor air quality among other things and allows the home to intuitively learn its owner’s habits and adjust the homes environment accordingly.
The modules are trucked to a construction site and put together to create a single family home. The size of the home depends on how many modules are combined. The homes are targeted toward what Weiss described as the “upper medium market.”
“We do some buildings that are what we call minis – one bedroom, one bathroom, one kitchen/living area and a deck,” Weiss said. Those are about 500 square feet.
The finished product typically costs from $250 to $275 per square foot, Weiss said.
CEO and co-founder: Kurt Goodjohn
Headquarters: La Jolla
Business: Modular home construction
Notable: Kurt Goodjohn decided to move the company’s headquarters to La Jolla after being stuck in a three-hour traffic jam in San Francisco