From traffic management to environment monitoring, these startups are making cities more efficient, sustainable, and resilient.
Although the concept has been around for more than a decade, progress toward smart cities has been relatively slow.
Smart cities, which rely on a combination of sensors, connected devices, and software platforms to collect, aggregate, and analyze mass quantities of data, require extensive coordination between governments, citizens, and companies.
In recent months, however, smart city technology has become a priority for many cities around the world, as Covid-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in dense, urban areas.
Countries such as China and Singapore have prioritized investment in digital technology to predict and prevent future outbreaks or other forms of disruption. Meanwhile, major cities in Europe are rethinking mobility and closing off streets to car traffic to promote walking and cycling.
Given this backdrop, a number of startups developing solutions and services in the realm of smart cities have come into focus.
Using the CB Insights database, we identified 100+ private companies working on smart city solutions. We break down smart city startups into 13 categories that fall into 4 larger buckets:
- Transportation — Startups under the transportation umbrella are developing solutions that aim to reduce urban congestion and optimize the flow of people and goods.
- Connectivity — Connectivity startups are either deploying the wireless network infrastructure for smart cities or are collecting and analyzing the data captured by this infrastructure.
- Sustainability — These companies are developing technology that helps cities combat pollution and manage resources more efficiently.
- Government & society — Startups are also developing technology designed to promote the health and safety of a city’s inhabitants.
This market map consists of private, active companies only and is not meant to be exhaustive of the space. Categories are not mutually exclusive, and companies are mapped according to primary use case.
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