Jan 24, 2018

SoftBank backs construction tech startup Katerra

SoftBank founder Masa Son

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo by Alessandro Di Ciommo/Getty Images

Silicon Valley construction-tech company Katerra has raised $865 million in new funding led by SoftBank, at a valuation north of $3 billion.

Bottom line: Katerra chairman and co-founder Michael Marks, who previously led Flex, says that the giant raise will help reassure large customers that the company is here to stay, despite having raised $130 million just last April. Marks also says that Katerra will become profitable next year.

Deal details: New investors include Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Soros Fund Management, Tavistock Group, Navitas Capital and DivcoWest. SoftBank Vision Fund managing partner Jeffrey Housenbold is taking a board seat.

Flashback: 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 Marks, who faced similar supply chain skepticism in his early days of leading what was then known as Flextronics. Marks also spent time in private equity and as interim CEO of Tesla Motors.

Editor's note: This piece was corrected to show Michael Marks is the chairman and co-founder of Katerra.

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