Alexa Fund added as new investor, marking Amazon’s first investment in a home prefabrication/construction company
RIALTO, Calif., Sept. 25, 2018 – Plant Prefab, a leading home design and prefabrication company, today announced it has raised a $6.7 million Series A funding round.
Plant Prefab’s Series A funding included Obvious Ventures and the Amazon Alexa Fund. The new round of funding will go toward investments in new senior hires, building the marketing and sales team, and developing Plant Prefab’s patented Plant Building System.
“Voice has emerged as a delightful technology in the home, and there are now more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 3,500 different brands,” said Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund. “Plant Prefab is a leader in home design and an emerging, innovative player in home manufacturing. We’re thrilled to support them as they make sustainable, connected homes more accessible to customers and developers.”
“We love working with companies that make a world positive impact on everyday lives. Plant Prefab is focused on dramatically improving efficiencies and environmental responsibility in the $330 billion market for new homes in the US. With increased costs, labor shortages, reduced affordability, and the enormous impact housing has on carbon emissions, there are few challenges more important than creating more accessible, healthy housing,” said Andrew Beebe, managing director of Obvious Ventures.
Plant Prefab manufactures custom single and multi-family homes that are high-quality, sustainable, healthy and durable. The company is the first home factory in the nation focused on sustainable construction, materials, processes and operations. Plant Prefab’s innovative approach reduces construction time by 50 percent and cost by 10-25 percent in major cities. Plant Prefab homes are built in ways that minimize the negative impact of development on energy, water, resources and indoor air quality. The company has partnered with some of the industry’s leading architects and designers, including Ray Kappe, Kieran Timberlake and Yves Behar.
In 2016, the Plant Prefab was spun out of LivingHomes, a design and development company that’s designed and built dozens of award-winning prefabricated homes, including the nation’s first LEED Platinum home.
According to Plant Prefab Founder and CEO Steve Glenn, “In the housing-crunched major cities like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, along with areas like Silicon Valley, it takes too much time to build a home from groundbreaking to occupancy, and labor shortages, construction delays and increased construction costs are exacerbating this trend even further — and making homes increasingly less affordable.”
Glenn added, “Building homes in factories addresses these challenges, particularly as we’re able integrate online technology, new building systems, and automation to dramatically reduce the time and cost necessary to design and build high-quality, custom homes.”
One area unique to Plant Prefab is its commitment to the fast-growing urban home market. Increased urbanization, along with growing population and climate change concerns, have been driving demand for single and multifamily housing. Oddly shaped sites, varying zoning regulations and unique access have essentially required new projects to need custom design solutions. Further, urban housing constraints are unable to accommodate standard homes that have defined prefabricated housing. In addition, more consumers are demanding, and more cities are requiring, homes that use less energy, water, and resources — and that minimize indoor air pollution. The demand for building quickly, cost and time efficiently, and sustainably is growing and traditional builders have difficulty meeting these needs.
Glenn said, “Most existing prefabrication companies in the US focus on standard, low quality, non-sustainable mobile and modular homes — for suburban communities. Plant Prefab is unique in that we’re focused on custom, high quality, very sustainable homes and we have a special facility and a patented building system optimized for this. We build based on client’s architects or clients can select from a growing number of homes we offer from world-class architects, all of which can be customized for specific lots and client needs. By building in an all-weather facility with lower cost and staff labor, we offer clients a more reliable, time and cost-effective alternative to local, urban general contractors.”
In recent months Plant Prefab has installed 26 units in California and Utah as well as a multifamily project in Berkeley. Additionally, Plant Prefab has been helping victims of the 2017 Napa-area wildfires overcome severe contractor shortages due to the wildfire aftermath. Since Plant Prefab homes are built off-site and require significantly less construction time and costs, Plant Prefab homes are an ideal solution for rebuilding efforts in areas affected by natural disasters. By leveraging its off-site build facility and full-time staff, Plant Prefab is enabling wildfire victims — who don’t have the luxury of extra time or capital — to leave temporary housing situations and access permanent, long-term homes.
About Plant Prefab
Plant Prefab is the first prefabricated home factory in the nation dedicated to sustainable construction, materials, processes and operations. The company manufactures custom single and multi-family homes that are high-quality, healthy and durable. With their patented building system, Plant Prefab delivers low-cost homes in half the time and with less waste than traditional, site-based construction. Plant Prefab customers can use their own home designs or select from fully customizable standard models available at www.plantprefab.com. Plant Prefab operates out of a 62,000 square foot facility in Rialto, California.