Apr 13, 2017

Ex-Flex CEO raises $130 million to disrupt construction

Katerra, a Silicon Valley provider of services to the construction industry, has raised $130 million in Series C funding led by Greenoaks Capital at a valuation north of $1 billion. Per a press release, the company says its model "combines technology, design, material sourcing, manufacturing, logistics and construction into a single integrated offering."

Investment thesis: The bet here is that the building construction supply chain isn't really all that different from the computer manufacturing supply chain. The common link is Katerra executive chairman Michael Marks, who faced similar supply chain skepticism in his early days of leading Flextronics. Marks also has spent time in private equity (KKR and Riverwood Equity) and as interim CEO of Tesla Motors.

Bottom line: "Although several companies compete with Katerra in different areas — Prescient builds frames and panels for developers in its own manufacturing plant while Rhumbix sells software to track construction costs — Marks said Katerra stands out for wanting to do everything. The risk, however, is that Katerra is taking on too many different tasks." ― Jonathan Vanian, Fortune

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