The OB­SES­SION of Rob­bie An­to­nio

He sits on de­sign pan­els with bas­ket­ball star Amar’e, on gala com­mit­tees with Cindy Sher­man, and on top 100 lists with Mi­uc­cia Prada. He at­tends the most exclusive, star-stud­ded events around the world, but he’s also a very pri­vate in­di­vid­ual who lives in

Esquire (Philippines) - - NOTES & ESSAYS - Pho­to­graphs by Edric CHEN by Au­drey N. CARPIO

THERE’S A MON­TAGE IN HBO’S SIL­I­CON VAL­LEY where startup founders pitch their prod­uct at a TechCrunch Dis­rupt con­fer­ence. They each earnestly and nerdily claim that their app is go­ing to rev­o­lu­tion­ize the world and/or make it a bet­ter place, us­ing the rhetoric of tech­no­log­i­cal de­ter­min­ism to cap­ture the deep pock­ets of ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists who hope to fund the next Uber or Airbnb. The Philip­pines, in ac­tu­al­ity, has its very own con­tender in the quest for uni­corn sta­tus—that is, a com­pany with a val­u­a­tion of $1 bil­lion—and it is one with roots in prop­erty devel­op­ment. “The rev­o­lu­tion has be­gun!” de­clares Rob­bie An­to­nio, fu­ture-uni­corn founder, sound­ing not un­like the Elon Musks of the world. Of course, he’s re­fer­ring to Rev­o­lu­tion Pre­crafted, the startup that’s got the VC world abuzz.

Ear­lier this year, startup ac­cel­er­a­tor 500 Star­tups (in­ci­den­tally founded by Dave McClure, one of the sup­posed in­spi­ra­tions be­hind the “incubator owner” Er­lich Bachman char­ac­ter in Sil­i­con Val­ley), poured money into Rev­o­lu­tion, bring­ing the com­pany’s val­u­a­tion to $256 mil­lion. 500 Star­tups, which has been ze­ro­ing in on South­east Asia as the next area of ex­plo­sive growth, has suc­cess­fully backed Grab, the Sin­ga­pore-based ride-shar­ing app now val­ued at US$ 3 bil­lion. “We’re very happy. One of the world’s more pro­lific seed ven­ture cap­i­tal com­pa­nies funded us. They fought their way to come in, be­cause we were funded al­ready for our seed round,” says Rob­bie, who of­ten speaks en­thu­si­as­ti­cally, if not force­fully, that one can’t help but yield to his vi­sion. “The rea­sons are twofold—one, it’s ex­tremely, and I hate to use such a cliche word, dis­rup­tive, and two, it has a proven busi­ness model. I’ve been do­ing real es­tate for over a dozen years.”

Rob­bie has been the man­ag­ing direc­tor of Cen­tury Prop­er­ties, the real es­tate devel­op­ment firm es­tab­lished in 1986 by his fa­ther Jose E.B. An­to­nio, and is re­spon­si­ble for the com­pany’s di­rec­tion to­ward branded col­lab­o­ra­tions like the Mi­lano Res­i­dences by Ver­sace, Ac­qua Liv­ing­stone by Mis­soni Home, Azure by Paris Hil­ton, Forbes Me­dia Tower, Ar­mani for Cen­tury Spire, and their new­est lux­ury res­i­dences, the Trump Tower. At the De­sign Miami fair last De­cem­ber 2015, Rob­bie launched his own com­pany, Rev­o­lu­tion Pre­crafted, show­ing a din­ing

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