- Online retailer Amazon has disrupted numerous consumer industries.
- Jeff Bezos’ company now offers modular homes for sale.
- The cost-efficient homes are expected to include Amazon Alexa integration.
It’s not enough that Amazon wants to outfit your home with personal virtual assistants and deliver groceries and Christmas trees to your door — the e-commerce giant with a knack for disrupting convention now wants to build your home, too. Amazon is angling for a piece of the $83 billion homebuilding industry with its latest investment in Plant Prefab, a Rialto, Calif.-based modular home manufacturer.
Trillion-dollar Amazon dipped into its venture capital account, known as The Alexa Fund, to back the startup, which uses automation to build more cost-efficient homes. Based on Amazon’s smart home investment track record, it appears that the company not only sees potential in the smart home market — expected to grow to $53 billion by 2022, according to CNBC — but wants to be a frontrunner.
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Plant Prefab Homes Could Come Fully Integrated With Alexa
The $6.7 million investment boon for Plant Prefab comes after Amazon recently launched more Alexa-connected devices, including a microwave. It’s speculated that Alexa’s presence will be cemented in every Plant Prefab home and the technology will be fully integrated.
How Much Is an Amazon Home?
Many of Plant Prefab’s homes can be assembled and delivered for less than $500,000, and prices run the gamut from $160,000 for a modest 400-square-foot one-bedroom to $1.23 million for a five-bedroom, 3,100-square-foot house. As it stands, customers interested in Plant Prefab homes must coordinate directly with the company. No word yet if the homes are going to pop up in Amazon’s marketplace or be eligible for Prime discounts.
This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into selling homes — several tiny home models are currently available for purchase on the website. However, this partnership is the online behemoth’s first venture into outfitting homes with its Alexa ecosystem starting from the ground up.
What Amazon’s Houses Means for Competing Home Manufacturers
Amazon getting into the homebuilding market is taking one-stop shopping to a whole new level. It appears that Amazon’s investment in Plant Prefab poses an added threat to prefab home manufacturers that don’t have the benefit of an Alexa-intregration partnership. Companies like Lennar, the nation’s largest homebuilder, were already starting to include Alexa-controlled devices as standard features, but Amazon’s investment in Plant Prefab could give Amazon more direct influence in the market. Time will tell how consumers will respond to the convenience of homebuying via Amazon.
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