Amazon Moves Into Home Construction With $6M Co-Investment
[Image: Plant Prefab home in California]
Amazon has furthered its push into smart home automation, this time co-investing US$6.7 million into construction startup ‘Plant Prefab’ – an ecofriendly company which claims to slash building time in half, and reduce costs by 10% – 25%.
Made via Amazon’s Alexa Fund, the Series A funding was completed alongside Obvious Ventures and seeks to develop Plant Prefab’s patented Plant Building System, whilst boost its marketing and sales team.
The investment is tipped to better integrate Alexa into smart homes, moving from external electrical products to embedded voice functionality.
“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,” affirms Paul Bernard, Alexa Fund Director.
“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.”
Plant Prefab claims to be the first prefabricated home factory in the US to focus on sustainable materials, processes and operations.
The company has reportedly partnered with several leading architects and designers, including Ray Kappe, Kieran Timberlake and Yves Behar.
Plant Prefab Founder and CEO Steve Glenn claims building homes in factories better integrates online systems and technology (e.g. voice control), whilst significantly dropping cost and time to build premium custom homes.
In recent months the company has installed 26 units in California and Utah, plus a multifamily project in Berkeley.