Veev, a Bay Area company that says it can build housing four times faster than traditional firms, raised $400 million in a Series D funding round and plans to use the money to add workers and expand into new markets.
Participants included Bond, a San Francisco venture capital firm, LenX, homebuilder Lennar’s venture arm, Zeev Ventures and Fifth Wall. CEO Amit Haller declined to disclose the company’s exact value.
“We decided that we’re going to do nothing less than better, cheaper, four times faster and sustainable,” Haller said in an interview. “It’s hard because there are a lot of stakeholders, and you need to bring them all together to be aligned for this mission. This funding round and those names, they tell us that we made it — it’s really aligned and it’s really kind of as far as where we want to bring it.”
California is short about three million homes, almost half the seven million across the U.S., the release said, citing census data. Veev aims to address the shortfall with a panelized building system that manufactures waterproof walls framed with steel and equipped with mechanical, electrical and plumbing.
The company designs, builds and assembles all the components of its turnkey homes, giving it a “fully in-house supply chain and manufacturing lifecycle,” it said in 2020.
Veev, so far focused on the Bay Area, plans to expand to Southern California, Texas and other markets over the next 12 to 18 months, Haller said. It still intends to expand in its home region over time through multiple new factories, adding to the 50,000-square-foot one it has in Union City in the East Bay, he said.
Those facilities resemble Amazon’s so-called last-mile ones in that they’re located in cities and neighborhoods instead of remote areas, allowing Veev to ship all components to them so that they can be delivered to nearby construction sites.
The startup plans to use its new funding to increase headcount to just under 475 from about 380 by the end of this year, according to Veev’s Kelly Hampton. It also aims to make its homes more sustainable and cost-efficient, in keeping with this year’s goal of reducing their carbon footprint by an additional 25 percent, which it’s tackling by making the manufacturing process more efficient, reducing the number of raw materials and being more selective on the types it uses, Haller said.
The company is also engaged in “very advanced” discussions with some affordable and market-rate developers to build future projects, Haller said. It said it formed a partnership with Lennar in November to build 102 attached homes in Northern California and worked with Habitat for Humanity and the city of San Jose to complete an interim housing project with 78 units for the homeless in 2020.