Prefabricated homebuilder Plant Prefab has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round and said it had opened a second factory and plans a third next year.
The latest funding round for the Southern California-based firm again included Amazon Alexa Fund. Leading the round were Asahi Kasei Corporation — which owns one of Japan’s largest homebuilders — and Paris Ventures, the corporate venture capital program of Brazilian steel producer Gerdau.
Plant Prefab CEO Steve Glenn pointed to increased demand for manufactured homes in traditional vacation communities, including Lake Tahoe, that have seen recent growth fueled by the pandemic and remote work.
Three years ago the Rialto-based company raised $6.7 million in a Series A funding round, with Amazon’s Alexa Fund also among the investors.
Plant Prefab was spun out of LivingHomes, a design and development company, in 2016. It says it aims to build housing more sustainably and tackle the demand growth in urban markets.
Plant Prefab recently inked a five-year lease with Kearny Real Estate Company for 20,000 square feet at 450 Sequoia Avenue in Ontario, California, Glenn said. That’s in addition to Plant Prefab’s 62,000-square-foot headquarters.
The company said its third factory will be fully automated and serve as “a central production hub” to other plants throughout the Western U.S. It has not released location details but said that space will open next year.
Plant Prefab designs and builds single- and multifamily homes made of panel and modular construction. It has committed to go carbon neutral by 2028.
The firm’s expansion comes as the market for manufactured homes has gotten larger, as buyers across much of the country struggle with a white-hot housing market, rising lumber prices and low inventory. In April, Berkshire Hathaway-owned construction company MiTek said it was launching a new modular construction company to produce factory-built hotel rooms and apartments. Other prefab startups have recently received funding from the likes of Google.
Billionaire Elon Musk even appears to be a fan. In June he said he was living in a 375-square-foot prefab accessory dwelling unit in Boca Chica, Texas, near the launch site of SpaceX.