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'Worldwide phenomenon' prefab tiny home maker Nestron just started shipping overseas - see inside its $77,000 units


the exterior of the Cube Two at night, lit up
The Cube Two.
  • Singapore-based Nestron is now shipping its prefab tiny home Cube One and Two models to the UK.
  • The company expects to sell over 100 units in the UK by the end of 2021 following massive online interest.
  • Take a look inside the two AI-powered models with smart furniture.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.
Interest in prefab tiny homes skyrocketed during COVID-19.
the exterior of the Cube One
The Cube One.
Now, one Singapore-based company is looking to capitalize on this trend by introducing its artificial intelligence-powered tiny homes to the UK.
the exterior of the Cube Two at night, lit up
The Cube Two.
Meet Nestron, the brains behind several wildly popular tiny homes that have since become a "worldwide phenomenon," Choco Toh of Nestron's marketing team told Insider in December.
the white panels of the Cube One while its being manufactured
Paneling the Cube One.

Source: Insider

Its tiny homes were such a hit, Nestron's website crashed for a while, likely due to an influx in webpage visits and "extremely overwhelming" popularity, Toh said.
Cube Two's large windows
The interior of the Cube Two.

Source: Insider

To expand its reach, Nestron is now in the process of preparing its debut in Northampton, UK, a little over 65 miles from London.
the steel frame of the Cube One
Cube One's structure.
Toh says Nestron will close about 10 deals before the homes actually debut in Europe …
the interior of the Cube One with a bathroom, living room, and kitchen
The interior of the Cube One.
… but estimates that by the end of the year, it'll sell over 100 units in the UK.
the exterior of the Cube Two
The Cube Two.
"We believe with the increase in marketing activities upon our debut, there are nearly 100,000 potential users in the UK, which will bring explosive and continuous growth to our local distributors," Toh told Insider in an email statement.
Cube Two's bedroom
The interior of the Cube Two.
Like other companies that ship products internationally, Nestron has struggled to move its tiny homes in the face of jammed ports and shipping delays.
The tiny home wrapped in fabric being picked up by a crane
The models being shipped.
But before we dive into how the company is overcoming these issues, let's take a look at the two futuristic tiny homes that will debut in the UK: the $34,000 to $52,000 Cube One and the $59,000 to $77,000 Cube Two.
the exterior of the Cube Two at night, lit up
The Cube Two.
These prices vary widely due to a list of possible extra add-ons, such as solar panels, heated floors, and additional smart appliances.
Cube Two's bedroom
The interior of the Cube Two.
The Cube One is more popular with solo occupants, while the larger Cube Two has been a hit with families, couples, and as a backyard unit.
Cube Two's dining table
The interior of the Cube Two.
Nestron debuted both units well before its UK plans but has since made sizing changes ahead of its overseas delivery: the Cube One's size was boosted about 16.2 square-feet, while the Cube Two was expanded by about 25 square-feet.
The tiny homes wrapped in fabric on a truck
The models being shipped.
Let's take a closer look at the Cube One, which stands at about 156 square feet.
the interior of the Cube One with a bathroom, living room, and kitchen
The interior of the Cube One.
This square footage holds the living room, bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen space (which comes with cabinets, a sink, and a stovetop, according to renderings of the unit).
the interior of the Cube One with storage units
The interior of the Cube One.
Like any typical home, the living room has a dining table and sofa, while the bedroom has a side table, closet, and of course, a bed.
the interior of the Cube One with storage units and a bed
The interior of the Cube One.
Moving towards the bathroom, the tiny Cube One comes with a shower, towel rack, and sink, all in one enclosed space.
the interior of the Cube One with a bathroom, living room, and kitchen
The interior of the Cube One.
The little living unit also has built-in necessary amenities like lights, storage units, electric blinds, and a speaker.
the interior of the Cube One with a bathroom, living room, and kitchen
The interior of the Cube One.
There's even room for a modern-day must-have: air conditioning units.
the interior of the Cube One with storage units
The interior of the Cube One.
Now, let's take a look at the larger Cube Two, which can accommodate three to four people with its two beds, both of which sit on opposite ends of the tiny home.
Cube Two's countertop and windows
The interior of the Cube Two.
Like its smaller sibling, the almost 280-square-foot Cube Two has a living room, two beds, a kitchen, and a bathroom, all with the same furnishings as the Cube One.
a peek down Cube Two's hallway with the kitchen and windows
The interior of the Cube Two.
However, the dining table in the Cube Two is noticeably larger, and there's a skylight for added natural light and stargazing.
Cube Two's dining table and countertop
The interior of the Cube Two.
Both models come insulated and have smart home capabilities using Nestron's "Canny," an artificial intelligence system.
Cube Two's kitchen and skylight
The interior of the Cube Two.
Canny can complete tasks like brewing your morning coffee or automatically adjusting your seat heights.
Cube Two's dining table
The interior of the Cube Two.
Everything is "smart" these days, which means the Cube One and Two can also come with motion-sensing lights and smart mirrors and toilets.
Cube Two's kitchen and skylight
The interior of the Cube Two.
You might be wondering how Nestron plans to move its Cube One and Two tiny homes overseas in one piece. Well, let's move on to everyone's favorite topic: logistics, and how the company managed to ship its tiny homes despite global delays.
the steel frame of the Cube Two
Cube Two's structure.
According to Toh, Nestron has had a "solid foundation built in the industry ... allowing it to have a good relationship with experienced and professional forwarding partners."
a worker insulating the tiny home
A worker applying the insulation layer.
Despite this foundation, like other companies, Nestron has experienced delays related to the global supply chain jam, specifically congested ports in the UK.
the wiring and plumbing inside the bare tiny home under construction
The wiring and plumbing systems.
As a result, the company's forwarding charges were tripled what it initially expected, according to Toh.
the white panels and windows of the Cube Two while its being manufactured
Paneling the Cube Two.
But instead of charging its clients extra money for immediate shipping, Nestron decided it would pause shipping until costs were lowered.
the white panels of the Cube One while its being manufactured
Paneling the Cube One.
To bypass these congestion issues, Nestron also decided to reroute its original plan to ship straight to the UK.
the wiring and plumbing inside the bare tiny home under construction
The wiring and plumbing systems.
"In the end, [we] decided to travel over to Antwerp, Belgium, and then land in the UK," Toh said. "This way, by the time we reach the UK port, the congestion would've been clear."
the tiny home under construction with white panels
One of the tiny homes under construction.
Despite this detour, shipping costs were still higher than expected, in part because the company and its distributors still wanted to make the debut timeline.
a person connecting the water and sewage points
The water and sewage connection points.
"Since the demands are growing and people want to experience touch and feel with Nestron, we took the chance and sent the units off earlier this month, expecting them to arrive late July [or] early August," Toh said.
Cube Two's windows and tables
The interior of the Cube Two.
To aid in the transportation process, the tiny homes have built-in retractable hooks to help make it compatible with cranes.
The tiny home wrapped in fabric being picked up by a crane
The models being shipped.
The homes' structures are also stable enough to withstand the stress of moving, according to Toh.
the steel frame of the Cube Two
Cube Two's structure.
And all the little living units are also packaged in waterproof fabric to both avoid rusting and to allow for easy inspection.
A completed Cube One in the factory.
A completed Cube One in the factory.
Being in the UK will allow potential consumers to "engage with Nestron units directly," Toh said. "The experience will definitely influence the market interest and purchase power."
two tiny homes on a truck for a road test
The tiny homes on a road test.
Read the original article on Business Insider

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