Katerra was an American technology-driven off-site construction company. It was founded in 2015 by Michael Marks, former CEO of Flextronics and former Tesla interim CEO, along with Fritz Wolff, the executive chairman of The Wolff Co.[3] Katerra was listed on LinkedIn's "Top Startup Companies" to work for in 2017.[4]

Katerra
TypePrivate
IndustryConstruction
Founded2015
HeadquartersMenlo Park, California, United States
Key people
RevenueBankrupt (Under Liquidation)[1]
Number of employees
7,500 - (total numbers pending following continued layoffs)[2]
Websitekaterra.com

In May 2020, it was announced that as a part of an additional $200 million raise, COO and former Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard would take over from Michael Marks as CEO of Katerra in June. Some of its independent assets in other regions, including the Middle East would continue to exist as independent entity.[5] In June 2021, Katerra announced plans to shut down, laying off remaining employees without paying out earned personal time off or severance.[6]

OperationsEdit

The company was founded in 2015. In January 2018, Katerra took an $835 million investment from Softbank.[2] The investment was made from the Vision Fund.[3]

The company manufactures large building components off-site, particularly for multi-family housing. For example, the company may fabricate an entire wall (including windows) off-site for final assembly on site at a construction project. The technique allows lower cost and the company claims higher-quality finishes.[2]

Katerra is known for its use of mass timber construction and its manufacture of mass timber products such as glued laminated timber and cross-laminated timber.[7][8] In support of this specialty, Katerra purchased MGA in 2018, the leading architectural firm in the field of tall wood buildings and mass timber construction.[9] In many of its projects, the company serves as an off-site manufacturer, architect, and on-site contractor.[10] It generally contracts directly with owners.[11]

The company had projects ongoing in several states; as of the end of 2018 it has 700 projects underway and many in backlog.[2] It had plans to build up to 14 distribution centers across the country.[12]

In December 2019, Katerra reported the company plans to layoff approximately 200 of the workforce and close their factory in Phoenix, Arizona. The manufacturing will be moved to Tracy, California where the costs are lower and highly automated.[13]

In June 2021 Katerra filed for bankruptcy, blaming the Covid-19 pandemic as well as an inability to raise new capital following the collapse of its lender, Greensill Capital.[14] Softbank's Vision Fund had reportedly invested more than $2 billion in Katerra in total, including a bailout in December 2020.[15]

See alsoEdit

WeWork – American coworking provider with similar investments from SoftBank

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ [dead link]Dead link
  2. ^ a b c d Carson, Biz. "SoftBank Leads $865M Investment In Katerra, Which Aims To Upend The Construction Industry". Forbes. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b Kolodny, Lora (24 January 2018). "SoftBank pours $865 million into Katerra, a start-up making buildings in a factory". CNBC. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  4. ^ Roth, Daniel (November 1, 2017). "LinkedIn Top Companies | Startups: The 50 industry disruptors you need to know now". LinkedIn.
  5. ^ "Paal Kibsgaard named CEO". May 2020.
  6. ^ "SoftBank-Backed Katerra to Shut Down". The Information. Retrieved 2021-06-01.
  7. ^ "Katerra plans major US factory expansion". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  8. ^ Esler, Bill (19 March 2018). "Mass timber construction okayed for Washington State building codes". Woodworking Network. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  9. ^ Kitai, David (30 May 2018). "A Silicon Valley Company Just Bought One of Vancouver's Most Esteemed Architecture Firms". Vancouver Magazine. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Katerra to build giant new CLT factory in Spokane, Washington". Treehugger. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Construction tech, offsite startup Katerra raises $130M". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Your Next Big Competitor? Get to Know Katerra".
  13. ^ Joyner, Sean (2019-12-13). "Modular construction startup Katerra cuts 200 jobs to embrace automation". Archinect. Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  14. ^ "After Katerra: How digital construction is developing in the US". Global Construction Review. 2022-05-18. Retrieved 2022-06-07.
  15. ^ Kruppa, Miles; Massoudi, Arash (2021-06-07). "SoftBank-backed Katerra files for bankruptcy". Financial Times.