It is understood the funding will drive further enhancements to Plant Prefab’s building system, senior hires and a reinforced sales and marketing team.
Amazon’s Alexa Fund, linked to innovation in voice technology, is among the entities that invested a total of US$6.7 million in the latest round of financing raised by Plant Prefab, which since May 2016 has been manufacturing modules for custom single- and multifamily homes, using automation to build more cost-efficient stock.
US business news outlet CNBC confirms the expected growth of the industry will be $53 billion by 2022 and Amazon wants to be a frontrunner.
It is understood Plant Prefab Homes will come fully integrated With Alexa.
According to coverage by US tech start-up news platform Techstory, Amazon’s investment in Plant Prefab poses a threat to prefab home manufacturers without an Alexa-integration partnership. Leading US home builder Lennar was starting to include Alexa-controlled devices as standard features but Amazon’s investment in Plant Prefab could give Amazon direct market influence.
Founded in 2015, Plant Prefab is regarded as an early adopter of sustainable construction, materials, processes, and operations in the US. Its patented building system claims to reduce construction time by 50%, and construction costs by between 10% and 25% in major cities.
Another of Plant Prefab’s investment partners is Obvious Ventures, which supports start-ups allied with solutions to global challenges including affordable housing.
Plant Prefab has also harnessed high profile support from the design world, with partners including renowned architect Kiernan Timberlake and celebrity designer Yves Behar. ■
Plant Prefab’s custom, high quality buildings, will now come fully integrated with Amazon’s smart home technology Alexa.