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SoftBank-Backed Construction Technology Startup Katerra Set to Close

Building Technology

SoftBank-Backed Construction Technology Startup Katerra Set to Close

June 3, 2021
Construction technology
Photo: red150770 |

Katerra started with a hefty goal: to revolutionize the $12 trillion global construction industry. Founded in 2015, the company received $1 billion in funding from SoftBank and was once valued at $4 billion, according to TheRealDeal. Katerra told employees this week that it would shut down, resulting in thousands of jobs lost, potentially without severance packages, and walking away from construction jobs. The company had publicly struggled meeting its promises and value. It laid off hundreds of employees last year and neared bankruptcy.

The company also faced an investigation into its accounting practices by the Securities and Exchange Commission and by its board of directors, according to The Information.

Last year, the company was reportedly exploring the possibility of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, until it was bailed out by a $200 million cash infusion from SoftBank. That round of funding gave another SoftBank-backed company, Greensill Capital, a 5 percent stake in the company in exchange for erasing more than $400 million in debt. Greensill also collapsed earlier this year.

Katerra’s founder Michael Marks and CEO left the company last May. Paal Kibsgaard, the company’s most recent chief executive, departed last month.

The company has 2,434 employees, according to its LinkedIn page. A spokesperson for Katerra did not immediately respond to a request for comment. SoftBank also did not return a request for comment.

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