Clean technology startups are moving into smart cities

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Many clean technology (cleantech) start-ups are pivoting into the smart city market, reports Bloomberg.

Companies are both rebranding themselves as smart city companies and targeting their existing products for smart city applications; they’re doing this to attract investments from venture capital firms that see a large potential for growth in the smart city market.

The rapidly expanding smart city market provides a prime opportunity for cleantech companies to showcase their value to potential investors. They can do this through gathering data that measures energy use, air quality, and infrastructure maintenance.

Jenny Fielding, the managing director at the incubator Techstars, noted that investors are aiming significant amounts of capital in the direction of smart city companies. According to Bloomberg, citing data from PitchBook, around $968 million was invested in cleantech start-ups across 65 deals in Q3 2016, which was the most in a single quarter since 2014.

Cleantech companies will continue to find success in this market as the smart city solutions grow more popular in the coming years. Cities are increasingly connecting city infrastructure to make themselves more environmentally friendly.

For example, the EU’s smart city initiative is attempting to increase energy efficiency 20% by 2020 through smart energy grids and streetlights. As BI Intelligence expects these initiatives to grow worldwide in the coming years, cleantech start-ups would be wise to continue to jump into the smart city market.

Urbanization will force cities around the world to cope with growing populations, traffic congestion, and pollution in the coming years. Faced with these mounting pressures, city governments are turning to IoT technologies to deliver services more efficiently and improve their citizens’ quality of life.

Many cities are already connecting their infrastructure to IoT devices like sensors and smart meters. But few cities are as far along in that effort as Barcelona.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on smart cities that examines how other municipalities can learn from Barcelona’s development into a smart city, how cities’ investments in IoT technologies will grow over time, and how those investments will impact urban economies worldwide.

Here are some of the key findings from the report:

  • IoT deployments will create $550 billion in economic value for cities worldwide in 2019. That economic value will be derived from revenues from IoT device installations and sales and savings from efficiency gains in city services.
  • Globally, cities’ investments in IoT technologies will increase by $126.76 billion between 2015-2019. This will make up the bulk of government investment in IoT technologies, dwarfing the amount of money spent on other government IoT use cases like military drones and robots.
  • The number of IoT devices installed in cities will will increase by more than 5 billion in the next four years, creating a massive opportunity for IoT hardware manufacturers and software vendors.
  • IoT technologies will deliver a broad range of benefits for cities including reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, improving public safety, and providing new ways for governments to interact with their citizens.

In this report we will also:

  • Define the difference between connected vs smart cities.
  • Identify key challenges for municipalities in developing smart cities and illustrate how some cities are already solving those obstacles.
  • Provide key takeaways from Barcelona’s IoT strategy, which has earned it recognition as the world’s smartest city.
  • Illustrate how the benefits of connecting legacy infrastructure can be magnified through data aggregation and analysis.

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The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of smart cities.