Cleantech startups benefit from interest in smart cities

Clean technology (cleantech) companies are moving into the smart city market to help attract venture capital interest, Bloomberg Technology reports.

The tech news website said that cleantech startups are benefiting as municipalities around the world look to implement smart city technologies which, amongst other things, can collect data to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

“We’re not packaging this as cleantech; we’re saying these are smart cities,” explained Jenny Fielding, managing director at startup accelerator Techstars. “That’s a very popular term right now, and people are throwing a lot of money toward that proposition. I’ve seen that what’s old becomes new again, and it just has a different name and a different business model.”

Earlier this year, Navigant Research predicted that global smart city revenues will grow from $36.8bn (£29.6bn) in 2016 to $88.7bn (£71.4bn) by 2025. City leaders and suppliers are recognising that there needs to be a clearer and faster route to the broader deployment of proven technologies and solutions, the research firm said.

According to Bloomberg, the fast growing smart cities market provides a great opportunity for cleantech startups to show their value because of the huge amount of data that could be gathered on metrics like energy use, air quality or infrastructure maintenance.

Bloomberg cited data from startup researcher PitchBook which showed that U.S. investors committed $741.1m (£597.1m) to cleantech firms in 65 deals in the third quarter of 2016 — the most in a single quarter since 2014 and more than double the amount invested in the previous quarter.

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