From micromobility and cybersecurity to environment monitoring, startups in these areas are making cities more efficient, sustainable, and resilient.
The concept of smart cities has been around for over a decade, but progress toward fully integrated smart cities has been slow.
This is largely due to the fact that smart cities — which depend on sensors, connected devices, and software platforms to collect, aggregate, and analyze mass quantities of data — require extensive coordination between governments, citizens, and companies.
However, the space has seen a new influx of investor interest as cities around the world look to address issues that have come into focus amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
For example, in the transportation sector, startups are focusing on improving electric vehicle infrastructure and building out micromobility options. Elsewhere, companies are working on energy efficiency and management tech to help cities lower emissions to meet corporate and federal targets.
Using the CB Insights database, we identified 100+ private companies developing 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 designed to reduce urban congestion and optimize the flow of people and goods.
- Connectivity & cybersecurity — Connectivity startups deploy the wireless network infrastructure for smart cities or collect and analyze the data captured by this infrastructure. Cybersecurity is essential for protecting data privacy in the face of increased data sharing.
- Sustainability — These companies are developing technology that helps smart cities combat pollution and manage resources more efficiently.
- Government & society — Startups are also developing technology designed to promote the health and safety of a smart 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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