Katerra represents the most ambitious and well-funded effort to change the construction industry, but recent developments raise questions about what kind of company it will become. Will it morph into what it once sought to disrupt?
Katerra represents the most ambitious and well financed effort to date to bring Silicon Valley-style disruption to the construction industry. With $1.3B in funding, Katerra pushed the idea that construction could be made to look more like automotive manufacturing — with tightly controlled, repeatable processes and uniform end-products.
As this model is put to test in the real world, Katerra’s M&A activity has picked up. The company has acquired seven sizable general contractors, architecture firms, and developers in the past two years, absorbing their project pipelines and existing client bases. As such, Katerra has assembled considerable runway, in the form of a guaranteed flow of construction contracts, through which to test and possibly scale novel processes.