Venture fund Urban.us is working to close $10 million fund to carry on with investing in startups deal with urban city living like mobility, logistics, environment, utilities and local government. The fund raising is expected to close later this year.
With Urban.us’ first fund of $1.3 million, it was split among the 20 startups almost equally. The goal while raising the first fund was to assist the startups moving from pre-seed to Series A round. Now with the second fund, it plans to do follow-on investments to some of the startups that have shown growth and achieved measurable public benefits. Stony Baptiste, co-founder of the venture capital firm said, “We believe climate change is the biggest challenge we are going to face as a society. And we see cities as one of the key mechanisms for efficiency to impact what that trajectory looks like.”
Even before closing the fund, Urban.us has committed funds to smart irrigation startups like Rachio,FutureMotion , the maker of electric board OneWheel and Flair, a startup dealing with connected and cooling systems. Other startups in its portfolio are HandUp, BRCK, dash, Revivn and Skycatch.
Around 70% of greenhouse gas emissions across the world are from the cities, shows studies by United Nations-Habitat, the UN’s program for urban development. By 2050, population growth in the urban areas are expected to double and therefore increasing the overall gas emissions coming from cities. That becomes the reason for the company to in companies that have the capability to scale up and grow rapidly and positively impact approximately 100 cities within five years.
Baptiste added, “This idea of making the world a better place is very broad, but it normally tips on the scale of sacrifice. Like, what can you do personally to help the situation is usually looked at, what can you sacrifice?” This becomes the reason for the venture capital to choose the startups that impact the society positively.