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HeadquartersMenlo Park, California, United States
Number of employees

Katerra is a technology-driven offsite construction company. It was founded in 2015 by Michael Marks, former CEO of Flextronics and former Tesla interim CEO, along with Fritz Wolff, the executive chairman of The Wolff Co.[2] It has raised US$4.1 billion in venture capital investments and has more than $3 billion in project backlog.[2] Katerra was listed on LinkedIn's "Top Startup Companies" to work for in 2017.[3]


The company was founded in 2015. In January 2018, Katerra took an $835 million investment from Softbank.[1] The investment was made from the Vision Fund.[2]

The company manufactures large building components off-site, particularly for multi-family housing. For example, the company may fabricate an entire wall (including windows) off-site for final assembly on site at a construction project. The technique allows lower cost and the company claims higher-quality finishes.[1]

Katerra is known for its use of mass timber construction and its manufacture of mass timber products such as glued laminated timber and cross-laminated timber.[4][5] In support of this specialty, Katerra purchased MGA | Michael Green Architecture in 2018, the leading architectural firm in the field of tall wood buildings and mass timber construction.[6] In many of its projects, the company serves as an off-site manufacturer, architect, and on-site contractor.[7] It generally contracts directly with owners.[8]

The company has projects ongoing in several states; as of the end of 2018 it has 700 projects underway and many in backlog.[1] It plans to build up to 14 distribution centers across the country.[9]

Restructuring and layoffs[edit]

In December 2019, Katerra reported the company plans to layoff approximately 200 of the workforce and close their factory in Phoenix, Arizona. The manufacturing will be moved to Tracy, California where the costs are lower and highly automated.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Carson, Biz. "SoftBank Leads $865M Investment In Katerra, Which Aims To Upend The Construction Industry". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Kolodny, Lora (24 January 2018). "SoftBank pours $865 million into Katerra, a start-up making buildings in a factory". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  3. ^ Roth, Daniel (November 1, 2017). "LinkedIn Top Companies | Startups: The 50 industry disruptors you need to know now". LinkedIn.
  4. ^ "Katerra plans major US factory expansion". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^ Esler, Bill (19 March 2018). "Mass timber construction okayed for Washington State building codes". Woodworking Network. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  6. ^ Kitai, David (30 May 2018). "A Silicon Valley Company Just Bought One of Vancouver's Most Esteemed Architecture Firms". Vancouver Magazine. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Katerra to build giant new CLT factory in Spokane, Washington". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Construction tech, offsite startup Katerra raises $130M". Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Your Next Big Competitor? Get to Know Katerra".
  10. ^ Joyner, Sean (2019-12-13). "Modular construction startup Katerra cuts 200 jobs to embrace automation". Archinect. Retrieved 2020-01-08.