Plant Prefab, a pre-built custom home builder focused on sustainable design, materials and operations, has raised $ 30 million in funding in a Series B equity round, the company said Tuesday.
The announcement of the funding came along with the announcement that the company has opened a second factory in Ontario, California, and is working on a third (location not disclosed) factory that will open in 2022.
The second factory will be similar to the company’s first factory, operating from a 20,000-square-foot facility and building projects for shipping to construction sites.
However, the company’s third factory will be the first automated facility to use the company’s patented Plant Building System, which will enable Plant Prefab to build homes 20 to 50 percent faster than traditional methods, according to a press release. The automated factory will also produce up to 30 percent less waste with cost savings of 10 to 25 percent. It will ultimately serve as the central manufacturing hub for all current and future factories in the western United States.
“This investment enables us to fully integrate our engineering platforms into our production process by using our proprietary Building Information Management (BIM) systems to power machines, advanced factory quality control and production tracking,” said Steve Glenn, Founder and CEO of Plant Prefab said in a statement. “It is a step in custom-made building that makes it much faster, easier and more sustainable to build beautifully designed, healthy houses.”
Plant Prefab’s contracts are up over 175 percent in the last year, according to a press release, and the company expects demand to rise as low interest rates persist and inventory levels remain sparse, especially in places like California.
The company found that its custom designs are particularly well suited to filling markets (empty lots between other developments) where it can easily adjust the designs to accommodate unusually shaped lots or restrictive zoning requirements. The client’s clients can choose their own architect or choose one of the company’s designs, which have been designed by several renowned architects such as Raykap and Brooks + Scarpa.
The financing round was jointly led by Asahi Kasei Corporation and Paris Ventures. Paris Ventures is the corporate venture capital program of the Brazilian steel manufacturer Gerdau.
“As part of Gerdau’s growth strategy and commitment to sustainability, we are very pleased to be working with Plant Prefab with an investment from our venture fund Paris Ventures to support its path to building sustainable architectural houses,” said Rafael La Porta, Director of Gerdau Weiter North America, it said in a statement. “The custom prefabrication of homes will increase dramatically and we believe that Plant Prefab’s approach and proven technology will enable the company to continue to be a leader with the potential to scale nationally and internationally.”
Other returning investors were Amazon Alexa Fund, Ferguson Ventures, and Obvious Ventures. Western Technology Investments and the ATEL Capital Group also provided venture capital and equipment finance. In addition, Cthulhu Ventures, ICT Capital, Anchor Capital Advisors, Arba Group, Highwater Capital Group, Brown Angel Group and Unreasonable Collective also contributed.
Plant Prefab is a Certified B Corporation, which means that the company “balances purpose and profit,” according to the Certified B Corporation website, and “has a legal obligation to evaluate the impact of its decisions on its employees, customers, suppliers, the community and to consider the environment ”. . “
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