What started as a small upstart company in Moose Jaw to a billion-dollar enterprise has now filed for court protection from creditors. 

Nexii Building Solutions was started in 2019 by brothers Michael and Ben Dombowsky marketing their invention, Nexiite. Nexiite is a low-carbon, environmentally friendly alternative to concrete that is recyclable and energy efficient. Nexii products are manufactured off-site and then can be rapidly assembled on-site, drastically reducing build times and construction costs. 

By 2021, Nexii, which is now based in Squamish, B.C., was one of the fastest companies to reach "Unicorn" status, meaning a private company with a valuation of $1 billion US or more. The company was valued at more than $2 billion US as of 2022. 

However, according to files to the British Columbia Supreme Court on Jan. 10, the company asked for court protection from creditors under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. The court submission included a sworn affidavit from Nexii CEO Bill Tucker. According to the Nexii website, Ben and Michael Dombowsky are listed as co-founders, co-inventors and senior vice president of building technology (Michael) and vice president of product development (Ben). 

According to the filings, the company owes more than $80 million US to creditors. This includes $79 million US to Senior Secured Lenders and $6 million CDN to equipment lessors, trade creditors and landlords. The court records showed that collection actions have already begun against Nexii. The court has also appointed KSV Restructuring to monitor Nexii. 

Nexii's assets were listed as equipment, accounts receivable, contracts and intellectual property, in particular the Nexiite product. 

The filings said Nexii has four ongoing construction projects and six projects that are under contract but work has not begun and are in jeopardy. 

So, where did it all go wrong? 

According to the court documents, Nexii began to aggressively expand in 2021. This included expanding its facilities and operations. The expansion was funded by investors and the Senior Secured Lenders. 

From there, the company ran into a couple of issues. First, Nexii entered into a "Nexii Certified Manufacturing Agreement" for a facility in Pennsylvania. The counterparty did not pay an initial licensing fee of $5 million and lacked working capital. For over a year, Nexii had to work under the agreement with no compensation at a "significant cost" to protect the brand from defaulting on projects. 

The court filings also said that business did grow with the expansion, but not as much as anticipated and costs were high compared to the revenue brought in. The company began re-engineering its product in 2021 to become more competitive and profitable. 

While the re-engineered product turned a profit in 2023, the court filing says Nexii spent significant capital in the prior two years. 

Court filings said the company undertook cost-cutting measures including employment terminations, a reduction in operating expenses and the closing of the Moose Jaw facility. It is unknown the exact date that the Moose Jaw facility closed. Nexii still has facilities in British Columbia and has about 140 employees with five employees in the United States. 

The court also granted Nexii a stay of proceedings for any action against the company until Jan. 22 to allow the company time to seek $750,000 US in debtor-in-possession financing. According to a Nexii press release, the company intends to seek court approval to launch a sale process of its business and assets on or around Jan. 22.  

Nexii is also seeking protection under Chapter 15 of Title 11 of the United States Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. 

Discover Moose Jaw has reached out to Nexii Building Solutions for comment but has not received a reply as of the publishing of this article. 

You can find a link to the court filing at the British Columbia Supreme Court here.