Softbank bails out Katerra and takes majority stake

By Jonathan Hilburg 

Modular prefabrication company and timber innovators Katerra has reportedly been saved from bankruptcy by a $200 million cash infusion from Japanese investment giant Softbank, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In addition, Softbank is taking another 5 percent stake in the company, making it Katerra’s majority shareholder.

Although Katerra promised to bring “the Silicon Valley approach to building” (as heard in our 2018 profile of the then-fledgling company), it appears to have ironically done so. Buoyed by massive hype and investments from venture capitalist backers, including Softbank’s Vision Fund, the company went on an expansion spree, snapping up Michael Green Architecture and Lord Aeck Sargent in 2018. That same year Katerra merged with Indian technology company KEF Infra to expand its international reach, and in 2019, they opened a cross-laminated timber (CLT) factory in Spokane Valley, Washington.