Tech Funding Trends #3 : Smart Cities


Smart Cities led to more efficient and sustainable urban living, reducing carbon emissions and enhancing the quality of life.


As a prelude, though, 75% of EU citizens live in Urban Areas. Globally, urban areas consume over 65% of the world's energy, which accounts for over 70% of CO2 emissions. Tech has a big role to play in tackling the issue of urban’s energy consumption, by making cities “smarter” about how energy is used.


There are many facets to what makes a city “smart”. Exactly 9 facets, if we follow the IESE “Cities in Motion” 2022 report. We want to restrict the scope a little and focus on how tech enables cities to become “smart”, especially on an environmental plane.


Four examples of smart cities in the European Union that have benefited from partnerships with tech companies:


Barcelona, Spain - In partnership with Cisco, Barcelona has implemented a smart lighting system that uses sensors to monitor and adjust the intensity of street lighting based on real-time data, reducing energy consumption and lowering costs.

Paris, France – It’s difficult to pinpoint just one project in Paris, as the whole city has pledged to become the greenest city by 2030. However, a mix of car lanes turned bike lanes, parks funding, vertical gardens, urban gardens and forests, Champs-Elysees makeovers and neighbourhood restorations (15min cities), are paving a greener way to an eco-friendly Paris. Tech-wise, the city itself heavily relies on IoT to inform its urban planning decisions towards energy efficiency.


Overall, these partnerships between tech companies and smart cities in the European Union have resulted in improved urban planning, increased operational efficiency, enhanced sustainability, and better citizen services, contributing to the development of smarter and more liveable cities.



Who Got Funded? Success Story Time!





There’s actually a European VC fund specialising in smart city funding. It’s called Eurazeo, and it’s been very active since 2021...


The Paris-based venture capital firm is making big moves with its Smart City Fund II, securing a whopping €70 million in the second close, just shy of a year after its initial round. The fund is specifically earmarked to invest in startups that are changing the game in energy, mobility, proptech, industrytech, and logistics on a global scale.


Eurazeo's Smart City Fund II is looking for startups that are driving pivotal societal shifts such as rapid urban EV charging, (Electra), who raised €15 million, in order to deploy 1,000 electric charging stations across France by 2030.


E-bike sharing on subscription DANCE, is revolutionizing the bike-sharing industry by delivering premium bikes right to customers' doorsteps within 24 hours. With the convenience of a mobile app, riders can easily unlock their bikes and gain access to a range of concierge services, as well as GPS location tracking, providing the ultimate biking experience.


They raised a €15 million Series A in 2020, and another round this February for €22 million.


Door-to-door carsharing fleet of teledriven vehicles Vay is making big waves too. The Berlin-based company raised €80m on their Series A in 2020, and an additional 15m in 2022 on an angel investment round.


Other players


Real-time AI video analysis software platform XXII GROUP has raised a total of €22M in their  Series A round in March 2023. Their products help make cities safer by providing real-time analysis of security cameras, which helps crowd control, crime prevention etc...


London-based transportation and AI company, GoodVision Ltd, has raised €2.7M in funding, with the aim of expanding its market presence, GoodVision plans to utilize the funds to take its software platform to even greater heights.


GoodVision's cutting-edge software platform allows transportation experts to collaborate and automate their tasks, freeing up their valuable time for more pressing assignments. 


And last but not least, Unifly raised €27million over the last 3 years. The Belgium, Antwerp-based company delivers a traffic management platform, allowing a safe integration of drones into airspaces.


That's it for today! 


Keep an eye out for next week's Tech Funding Trend...