Softbank-backed Katerra wants to disrupt the construction industry using Silicon Valley’s electronics industry approach

The construction industry is ripe for disruption. The last craft industry, construction has yet to enter the industrial or technology age. People are building homes today essentially the same way they did in the mid-1800s. Economies of scale just don’t exist: most sites/projects are designed, planned, quoted, bought out, and built as one-off projects. Yet they all have many standardised materials, labour skills, design components, processes in common.

Founded in Menlo Park, California, Katerra was started by Michael Marks, Jim Davidson, and Fritz H. Wolff. Combined, they have decades of experience in the technology, manufacturing, real estate and private equity industries. Using the disciplines, processes, and hindsight of the extraordinary gains of the last several decades in electronics manufacturing, Katerra is putting modern technology to work at all levels of the construction industry.

Founded in 2015, Katerra has accumulated more than $1.3 billion in bookings for new construction, spanning the multi-family, student and senior housing, and hospitality sectors. Katerra has built a global team of more than 1,300 people, attracting senior leadership and talent from groundbreaking technology brands such as Apple, Google, HP, Nokia, Sandisk, and Flextronics. Katerra has opened a fully operational manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Arizona with a roadmap in place for multiple additional domestic factories, including breaking ground on a mass timbre factory in Spokane, Washington. Katerra ranks as one of the top 25 multifamily general contractors in the US.

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How they do it?

Katerra is applying systems approaches to remove unnecessary time and costs from building development, design, and construction.

With the latest technology, efficiency no longer has to come at the expense of quality or sustainability.

Led by a team that combines expertise from the most groundbreaking technology, design, manufacturing, and construction companies, they are transforming how buildings and spaces come to life.

Katerra is off to a fast start with more than 1000 employees, offices in four countries, a growing number of factories, and dozens of active projects.

Founded in 2015, today Katerra ranks as one of the top 25 multifamily general contractors in the United States.


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