Oh how the mighty continue to fall.
Katerra, the construction giant that was backed by SoftBank, has officially told its employees that it is shutting down its operations. Katerra “had promised to shake up the construction industry with its efficient factories, prefab parts and modular construction units,” Bloomberg had reported on the company in the past.
But now the only thing it’s shaking up are the lives of the 8,000 employees it had globally, as of last year, according to TechCrunch, who pointed out that the company had already struggled “to find a viable business in cheaply building properties for real estate developers”.
The company was then beset by climbing labor and material costs associated with the pandemic (and perhaps now, the hyperinflation that’s succeeding the pandemic).
SoftBank tried to bail out the struggling company, offering $200 million on top of the billions it had already invested in the company, to buy a majority stake. But, not unlike the WeWork IPO, Katerra couldn’t be saved.
Bloomberg reports that the company is now likely going to walk away from “dozens” of projects it has already committed to.
Among those being laid off are 117 workers in Seattle, according to The Seattle Times. The losses are expected to take effect on June 4.
CEO Masayoshi Son had called Katerra one of his “regrets” in an interview with Barron’s last month. The company had raised more than $2 billion since its founding in 2015.
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