Prefab start-up Katerra to get another $700m from SoftBank

Silicon Valley prefab builder Katerra is set to receive a further $700m investment from Japan’s SoftBank, putting the four-year-old company’s value at more than $4bn, says a report.

The deal, reported by tech news site The Information, would be the second injection into Katerra by SoftBank after its Vision Fund invested $865m in January last year.

Founded in 2015 by a group of real estate and electronics chiefs, Katerra aims to disrupt the construction industry by integrating design, component manufacturing, and site assembly together under its digital platform, and claims to have $3.7bn worth of building orders so far.

"The deal would pull Katerra’s total equity capital past $2 billion, and may make it one of SoftBank Vision Fund’s biggest bets in the U.S., behind WeWork and Uber," The Information said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Working with engineered timber, Katerra has developed a standard kit of building components, including floor systems, roof truss assemblies and wall panels, to build multi-storey residential and other buildings in whatever configuration clients want.

It has one factory operating in Phoenix, Arizona, a second under construction in Spokane, Washington, and plans for two more, one in Tracy, California and another in San Marcos, Texas.

The Information observes that the possibility of disrupting the world’s $10 trillion global construction industry through digitalisation is enticing an increasing number of technology investors.

Image: Inside Katerra’s factory in Phoenix, Arizona (Katerra)

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  1. Absolutely fabulous!

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