Samara raises $41 million to bring high quality ADUs to every backyard in California and beyond

<Samara co-founders Mike McNamara (left) and Joe Gebbia (right).
Above: Samara co-founders Mike McNamara (left) and Joe Gebbia (right).
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We’re excited to announce our $41M Series A round, led by Thrive Capital with participation from leading VC firms and angel investors. This latest funding will allow us to scale our brand, product offerings, team, and much needed manufacturing capacity to unlock growth and bring high quality accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to every backyard in California and beyond.

In the last ten years, California gained three times more people than it added housing units, resulting in only one dwelling for every 2.9 residents. The state’s housing crisis has historically been exacerbated by slow permitting processes as well as high costs and, more recently, soaring interest rates, leaving many residents scrambling for space amid the growth of families, the new norms of flexible work, and an increase in multi-generational living. Since 2016, we’ve seen a shift in how homeowners are addressing these needs, and ADU permitting has increased 42-76% every year (with the exception of 2020 due to COVID).

Samara is addressing these new, changing ways of living with our first product, Backyard. Backyard is a flexible, high quality ADU that unlocks the potential of your property. Available in studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom layouts, Backyard makes it possible for homeowners to add high quality living space to their homes faster and at a lower cost than traditional construction. If Backyard was installed in just 12% of the state’s single-family homes, we could add up to 1 million new housing units in California.

Mike McNamara, Samara CEO and co-founder, said:

“Building new homes and expanding existing ones is harder than it should be, slowed down by long permitting processes, high costs and the complexities of on-site construction. Prefabricated ADUs like Backyard enable us to add the flexible housing capacity California needs, giving homeowners space to house growing families, start new businesses, work from home or provide much needed new rental capacity and income.”

Housing is the world’s largest addressable market, but unlike other industries, residential construction has not been radically transformed by innovation in manufacturing processes. Built using modern manufacturing techniques, Backyard significantly reduces build times, cost variability and material waste compared to traditional construction methods.

We believe Backyard is the right product at the right time for California homeowners.

  • Combined with Backyard’s highly efficient thermal envelope, optional solar arrays can reduce a homeowner’s overall energy consumption and bills.
  • Advanced air purification ensures that Backyard is safe and comfortable year round, even when wildfire smoke, viruses, pollen and dust pollute the air.
  • Backyard can be installed in as few as seven months, including permitting, and with only 30 days of on-site labor—far faster than the many months it would take to build an ADU using traditional construction methods.

Joe Gebbia, Samara co-founder, said:

“California needs more homes, and many existing homes need more space. We’re looking forward to scaling up our operations and seeing Backyard give more people the space they need to house family, build a business, or earn new income.”

Founded in 2016 as a research and innovation team within Airbnb, Samara is now an independent company backed by leading venture and corporate investors. The Series A round was led by Thrive Capital, with participation from 8VC, General Catalyst, New Legacy, Ron Conway’s SV Angel, and Airbnb, as well as notable angel investors including Brian Chesky, Michael Dell, Nate Blecharczyk and others.

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