SoftBank-Led Fund Invests $865M In Construction Tech Startup Katerra
SoftBank Group led a Series D investment of $865M for Menlo Park-based Katerra Inc., bringing the construction technology startup’s valuation to over $3B, Bloomberg reports. The funding will be used toward continued manufacturing expansion and additional R&D.
Katerra is one of several startups and contractors bringing technology to the job site to help decrease costs and address the skilled labor shortage. Its technology helps integrate design, development and construction teams. It also allows for materials and partially assembled projects to be delivered when they are needed.
Katerra built a factory in Phoenix to create wall panels, cabinets and countertops for apartments. It is building a factory in Eastern Washington that will create mass timber with production expected to begin later this year.
The company plans to start on 30 projects this year. Its focus is on residential, including multifamily, student, senior and hospitality. It plans to start on single-family homes next year. The company already has about $1.3B in construction bookings for new projects.
The recent investment in Katerra marks the sixth-largest for a U.S. venture-backed company over the past year. SoftBank’s Vision Fund was joined by Soros Fund Management, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Tavistock Group and real estate investment funds Navitas Capital and DivcoWest. Existing Katerra investors include Foxconn, Greenoaks Capital, DFJ Growth, Khosla Ventures and Moore Capital Management founder Louis M. Bacon.
The Vision Fund previously invested $450M into real estate tech firm Compass. The fund has a $100B target and made 100 investments in 2017 with a valuation of $36B. It has previously invested in WeWork, Uber, Slack and Didi Chuxing.