Facebook Google Back Modular Housing Startup Factory_OS

From left: Google’s Sundar Pichai, Facebook’s Mark Holliday, and Factory_OS’s Rick Holliday and Larry Pace (Getty; Factory_OS; iStock)

Tech giants Facebook and Google are pulling out their checkbooks to back a modular housing startup.

Factory_OS, which aims to build apartments more efficiently and for less money, announced the Series B Friday. The $55 million round was led by Lafayette Square Holdings, with participation from Autodesk, Citi and Morgan Stanley, along with Facebook and Google.

Based in Vallejo, California, Factory_OS was founded in 2017 by general contractor Larry Pace and Rick Holliday, a San Francisco affordable housing developer. The startup previously raised $22.7 million, according to Crunchbase.

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Factory_OS aims to build houses “more like cars,” according to a press release, meaning different components of each are pre-assembled simultaneously. The company claims it can lower construction costs by 20 to 40 percent by assembling everything off-site.

With the fresh capital, the start up aims to “accelerate growth” of its technology, it said in a press release, as well as ramp up manufacturing at a 100,000-square-foot facility that’s currently under construction in Mare Island, in the Bay Area. It’s also looking to expand into Los Angeles, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which first reported the news.

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Factory_OS is projecting $80 million in revenue this year, with $150 million expected in 2021. “Demand for what we’re doing is increasing,” Holliday told the North Bay Business Journal in November.

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The company has produced over 1,000 units with several projects under construction, including a 250-unit apartment for Google employees near the tech giant’s Mountain View office.

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Google, Facebook and Apple have all pledged billions of dollars to address California’s affordable housing problem. Google has said it plans to invest $1 billion, and has partnered with Lendlease on a proposal to build master-planned communities in Silicon Valley.

Apple announced a $2.5 billion housing plan last year, including $1 billion to help first-time homebuyers get mortgages.

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