🦄 Unicorner Startup of the Week: Atmos
✍️ Notes From The Editors
Brunch! We had 25 founders join us in Santa Monica yesterday morning for sandwiches, donuts, and drinks. Great conversations all around.
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- Arek and Ethan 🦄
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Its operators have built and scaled hundreds of ventures, and know from experience that finding product-market fit is one of the most difficult hurdles founders must overcome. Fortunately, there are techniques to tackle the challenge.

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Build your dream home
Atmos gives you the tools to plan and construct your ideal home. Its platform is an end-to-end home construction service. It starts with a land plot selector, where buyers can choose from hundreds of home plans that fit different requirements. From there, the team can provide expert input into customizing the plans to your liking. Once construction begins, Atmos serves as the project manager, acting as a single point of contact between you and everyone involved with building the home.
🔗 Check it out: buildatmos.com
💰 Business Model
Atmos takes a fee of 5% of the total build cost (it does not include the price of the land). The fees are paid by the lender as soon as a loan is closed and funds are released. Builders are separately charged a $20,000 flat fee for finding, vetting, and servicing a client.
📈 Traction and Fundraising
  • Raised $12.5 million Series A from Khosla Ventures, Bedrock Capital, JLL Spark, Y Combinator, Keller Williams, Duke Angel Network, Gaingels, Sam Altman (OpenAI CEO), Stephen Pagliuca (Bain Capital co-chairman), Dylan Field (Figma CEO), and more
  • Took part in Y Combinator S20 batch
  • As of Nov. 15, built six homes with a few dozen more in the works; its current service area includes the Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham metro areas in North Carolina
👫 Founders
  • Nicholas Donahue, CEO: Previously Community Director @ Hilo, Process Engineer @ Dell, Mechanical Engineering @ North Carolina State University
  • Matthew Rastovac, Head of Engineering: Previously SWE @ Cameo, CS @ UIUC
  • Austin Kahn, Product & Design: Previously Industrial and Product Design @ North Carolina State University
  • Trent Hedge: Currently Co-Founder & CEO @ Pylon; Previously Co-Founder @ Atmos, Product Manager @ SafeWire, Product Marketing @ Root Inc, Business Analytics @ Hult International Business School
🔮 Our Analysis
Atmos is built with a focus on simplicity and streamlining. It almost encourages using phrases like “Homes-as-a-Service” because it’s precisely what’s being offered. Traditionally, home construction has been anything but a simple process. And this is for good reason—there are few investments most people make in their lives that are more significant than a home for their family. Due diligence on the land and ensuring house plans meet your needs are essential.
In simplifying the home-building process, Atmos doesn’t compromise on specifics. After choosing between hundreds of home plans, buyers can customize to add or remove rooms and features based on what’s possible with the given plot of land. When it comes to construction, Atmos claims to thoroughly vet its builders and match orders based on experience. The manager assigned by Atmos on a project checks in with the homebuyer every week and provides updates. While Atmos’s service is limited to North Carolina at the moment, it will be interesting to see whether its service can adapt well to other metropolitan areas (some mentioned expansions include Denver, Austin, Portland, and Salt Lake City).
📚 Further Reading
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💰 Bonus Content
As we put together job opportunities for Unicorner, we wanted to share a list of 50 startups in web3 hiring this winter, compiled by our friend and Unicorner contributor Noah Edelman from WTFCrypto. Check out the list!
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