Earlier this month, Amazon announced its intentions to invade your home with a slew of new Alexa-powered devices designed to make your life more convenient (and Jeff Bezos a lot richer). The new products include a bevy of home appliances, ranging from microwaves to electrical outlets.
But what if the company simply built one giant Alexa device for you to live inside? Last week, we pondered whether Amazon would ever get into home building, and now the company is doing something along those lines–with an investment in home design and prefabrication company Plant Prefab.
On Tuesday the Rialto, California-based company announced it had raised $6.7 million is series A funding from Obvious Ventures, an investment company that funds startups with what it calls “positive social and environmental benefits,” and the Amazon Alexa Fund, Jeff Bezos’s venture capital enterprise dedicated to investing in companies that “fuel voice technology innovation.”
Apparently, that includes Plant Prefab.
“We will work with Amazon to integrate Alexa and other smart home technology they have into our standard home platforms,” says Steve Glenn, CEO of Plant Prefab over email. “We’ll be working with them to create better integrated Alexa and other smart home technology solutions to help improve the quality of life and utility of people who live in the homes we build.”
Plant Prefab has been designing prefab homes since 2016, when it was spun off of architectural and property development firm Living Homes. The company describes itself as the first American prefab factory focused on sustainability, and claims its technology can achieve a reduction of 50% in construction time and 10% to 25% in cost in major cities. It offers a series of “standard” designs developed by big design names like Ray Kappe and Yves Béhar, as well as custom builds. Over the last few months, Plant Prefab says in a press release, it has installed 26 of its units across California and Utah.
With so many Echo- and Alexa-enabled devices available, from clocks to subwoofers to TVs, it’s easy to joke that this is Amazon’s world and we’re just living in it. Based on its investment in Plant Prefab, that future may be Prime-delivered sooner than we think.