By Sebastian Obando | Construction Dive
When former CEO and co-founder Michael Marks left Katerra in May 2020, the company that aimed to revolutionize the construction industry had reached the beginning of its end.
What followed was a meteoric fall by one of the most promising construction startups of all time. Katerra blew through more than $2 billion of investor money, a majority from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank. Other financial supporters included Soros Fund Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Just 13 months after the company replaced Marks with COO Paal Kibsgaard, Katerra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the end of this summer, Katerra sold off its assets in Tracy, California, for $21.25 million and its factory in Spokane, Washington, for $50 million.
Katerra’s journey from unicorn to bankruptcy:
Founded by Michael Marks and Fritz Wolff.
Reaches a $1 billion valuation.
Listed among LinkedIn’s top startup companies.
Raises $865 million in a new round of financing led by Softbank’s Vision Fund.
Softbank’s Vision Fund leads a $700 million round of funding, driving valuation to $4 billion.
Fritz Wolff, one of the co-founders and board members, leaves amid layoffs and abandoned projects.
Lays off 200 workers and shuts down its Phoenix modular building facility. Manufacturing operations moved to Tracy, California, where costs are lower and work is highly automated.
Signs a $650 million contract with Saudi Arabia to build 8,000 homes.
COVID-19 spreads, delays affect its San Marcos, Texas, project, as well as other projects in Washington state and New Jersey.
As part of an additional $200 million raise from SoftBank, COO Paal Kibsgaard takes over for Michael Marks as CEO.
Lays off an additional 7% of its staff, mostly in the U.S.
Greensill Capital, a SoftBank-backed lender, files for insolvency.
Katerra files for bankruptcy protection.