‘Uber for Architecture’ reveals aggressive growth plan and £ 500,000 crowdfunding
The company has offered equity stakes to the public with incentives ranging from branded T-shirts to “the world’s most expensive brick” to fund an “aggressive expansion plan”.
Founded in 2019 by Glasgow-based architect and entrepreneur Danny Campbell, 30, the company aims to open 30 new studios as part of its drive to become ‘the UK’s largest owner-architect’.
HOKO has ambitiously predicted that its turnover, currently £ 1.4million, will exceed £ 50million by 2025. It also announced that its first international studio will be built in Dublin and that ‘it planned to expand its’ full project service model to the United States. Following’.
Billed as a “one-stop-shop” for home design, the company says it wants to become a household name in the world over the next five years and a top 100 company on the AJ100 ranking by 2022.
Campbell claimed the number of projects on HOKO’s books increased 970% to nearly 400 in the past calendar year, as interest in home improvements and extensions increased during the foreclosure.
Now he wants public support for his growth plans, launching a crowdfunding campaign on September 30 to give anyone “the chance to own a part of the future of the booming business.”
Campbell, a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and educated at De Montfort University, said: “HOKO’s mission has always been to provide the perfect home improvement experience for homeowners. Now the business can be owned by the same owners who are at the heart of it.
“We are still at a really exciting stage for investors. We are small enough that personal investment capitalizes on our greatest phase of growth. ‘
According to Campbell, “HOKO’s secret sauce is to reverse the established architectural model” through a process that means smaller household projects can be “consistently delivered at high volume by offloading key professionals.”
The practice said: “Large architectural firms have traditionally avoided small projects – seen as hassle – in favor of larger, higher-yielding projects.
‘[We have] reversed this principle by becoming a large company selling high volume man-hours by doing smaller, large-scale projects. The model allows [us] to accept 10 times more clients than a traditional practice while spending more time one-on-one with them. ‘
HOKO’s crowdfunding options start at £ 25, rising to £ 25,000. For this highest amount, investors will receive one of 20 limited edition blue bricks.
Commentary: Columnist AJ Kunle Barker
[HOKO’s plan] seems far too focused on scaling, following the US ‘build a Goliath’ business model. It used to be called predatory marketing: dominating a market; destroy or acquire competition. Then unilaterally control that market.
The problem with housing construction is the lack of companies in the market. This gives us areas without ambition and cookie-cutter. I don’t want the same to happen to residential architecture.
[HOKO] talks [in its press release] about how many offices they’ve opened, but there’s no mention of any projects or how they’ve changed lives with good architectural interventions. This is what I want to hear about, not how a company intends to dominate the market by aspiring to work in an already competitive market.
I’m afraid HOKO is the McDonald’s of architecture and doing for architecture what McDonald’s has done for food.