Insurance firm Aviva also ploughs money into start-up 

tophat factory

What TopHat’s factory in Corby will look like

Persimmon and insurance company Aviva have led a £70m investment into modular housebuilder TopHat.

The investment is designed to help the start-up build on its current output of up to 800 homes a year through building what it says will be Europe’s largest modular housing factory in Corby, Northamptonshire.

It aims to manufacture up to 4,000 ultra low-carbon homes annually with the new 650,000 sq ft facility, which it expects to open next year.

TopHat, which is majority owned by investment bank Goldman Sachs, said the investment is the first time a FTSE 100-listed housebuilder had invested directly into a modular manufacturer.

Existing Goldman Sachs Asset Management shareholders also contributed to the £70m investment in TopHat, which recorded a £5m loss in 2021 and a further £19.4m loss last year. Last year it said it would be profit-making within three years.

Dean Finch, chief executive at Persimmon, said: “This investment provides Persimmon with guaranteed access to very energy-efficient volumetric modular units.

“This will provide further build efficiencies, manage the growing challenge of labour shortages in key trades and expand our product range for customers.”

TopHat said every home it manufactures is capable of being zero-carbon, which is achieved through the building fabric used and low-carbon technologies, such as solar panels and battery storage.

The firm was founded in 2016 by Rosenhaus and architect and chief design officer Krishan Pattni.