BoKlok and Katerra hope their buildings will last a century.
In May, Katerra received more funding and said it would swap CEOs.
“It’s changed the game for investing in a dramatic way,” Michael Marks, CEO of the US construction startup Katerra, observes.
It lent money to Katerra and Oyo—or, rather, Credit Suisse clients did so indirectly.
It will be driven by both new entrants, like SoftBank's Katerra, and from more traditional builders.
An American firm called Katerra also builds prefabricated sections of apartments at a factory in Arizona.
Katerra, the SoftBank-backed off-site construction company, is one of the more prominent startups in this area.
SoftBank invested in the company that made the loan (Greensill) and in those it lent to (Katerra, Oyo and others).
SoftBank-backed Katerra, which has raised $1.2 billion in funding, laid off roughly 220 people in April, just months after closing a factory in Phoenix.
These sectors have fallen out of favor since the days when you could order a bungalow out of the Sears catalog, but recent investment in the space from Amazon and startups like Katerra show a renewed interest.
With $865 million in venture capital raised so far (including from deep-pocketed SoftBank), Katerra has acquired a half-dozen architectural and design firms, opened three operational factories, and in June merged with KEF Infra, a Bangalore-based infrastructure company that uses robotics and automation.
Nishar's steady hand and passion for learning will likely influence SoftBank's investment strategy over the coming months after having navigated around a series of public catastrophes for the fund in the implosions of coworking startup WeWork, failed pizza robot maker Zume, and construction startup Katerra.
Whether it's the play by Katerra to streamline the construction industry, or the move by Compass to change real estate by arming agents with tech, a nod from Son and SoftBank's Vision Fund is like an imprimatur from the Pope — Katerra now has $1.3 billion in bookings, and SoftBank's infusion of $450 million gave Compass a $2.2 billion valuation.
Construction industry disrupter Katerra is moving at the speed of a tech start-up — and, in fact, Katerra bills itself as a "tech company," one which plans to revolutionize the $12 trillion global construction industry — traditionally and notoriously fragmented and inefficient — into a "womb to tomb" one-stop shop, covering everything from design to actual construction.
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Construction industry disrupter Katerra is moving at the speed of a tech start-up — and in fact Katerra bills itself as a tech company one which plans to revolutionize the 12 trillion global construction industry — traditionally and notoriously fragmented and inefficient — into a womb to tomb one-stop shop covering everything from design to actual construction