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Amazon is betting on prefab homes

Amazon is betting on prefab homes

The tech giant is investing in startup Plant Prefab

Amazon putting its money behind pre-fabricated homes.

The tech giant’s Alexa Fund was among the investors in Plant Prefab’s Series A funding round. The company, which manufactures custom single- and multifamily homes, raised $6.7 million, according to a statement.

The move comes as Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa has expanded. There are now more than 20,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 3,500 different brands, Paul Bernard, director of the Alexa Fund, said in the statement.

Plant Prefab was spun out of LivingHomes, a design and development company, in 2016. The company aims to build housing more sustainably and tackle the demand growth in urban markets. It has installed 26 units in California and Utah, and a multifamily project in Berkeley. Plant Prefab has a 62,000-square-foot facility in Rialto, California.

Last year, Amazon was selling prefabricated houses for between about $3,500 to $36,000 in different sizes and styles. One 244-square-foot cabin with a loft, for example, was going for about $19,000.

In May, Amazon announced a partnership with home builder Lennar. Under the deal, standard features in Lennar homes will include built-in Wi-Fi, smart locks, doorbells, thermostats and lights — all controlled by Alexa.

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Bernard Corcos

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