Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Mexicali becomes a tiny home capital with new Samara factory

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The accessory dwelling unit startup launched in 2022 by an Airbnb cofounder announced this week that it is taking its manufacturing operations in-house.

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Samara, the accessory dwelling unit startup launched in 2022 by an Airbnb cofounder, announced this week that it is taking its manufacturing operations in house.

The firm announced the purchase of a factory in Mexicali, Mexico, on the United States border. Bringing manufacturing in-house will help the startup shorten delivery timelines, give it more control over quality standards and help it meet the rising demand for ADUs in California, Samara’s founder said.

“With our factory acquisition, I’m proud Samara can now integrate its world-class design, engineering capabilities, excellent customer experience and in-house manufacturing capacity,” said CEO Mike McNamara, who co-founded Samara with Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of Airbnb.

Samara’s origins are as an internal project at Airbnb that started in 2016, the result of an effort by the company’s internal innovation team to streamline the experience of designing, buying and building a home. The company saw potential for the project to succeed as a standalone business and spun it off, with Airbnb taking a minority stake.

The company aims to take advantage of loosened regulations around ADUs in California, which have been proposed as one potential solution to the state’s severe housing shortage as they have grown considerably in popularity. The number of requested permits for ADUs has multiplied by nearly 19 between 2016 and 2022, according to Samara. The company’s first model, dubbed the “Backyard,” is available in one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and studio models.

“Our homes are central to our lives. On average, most people in California live in their home for 17 years,” McNamara said. “Backyard is a powerful tool to help people get more mileage out of their properties, without the tax implications and hassles of a renovation.”

The 150,000-square-foot factory in Mexicali will allow the company to build its pre-fabricated homes from start to finish, load them up on a truck and bring them directly to customers’ homes. While most companies outsource manufacturing because of the challenges such a large operation can present, Samara leadership said they believe the challenge will be worth it in exchange for better quality control and faster delivery time.

Email Ben Verde

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