Smart Cities | August 16, 2022

Urban Innovation’s smart cities fund secures $121 million

Roodgally Senatus
ImpactAlpha Editor

Roodgally Senatus

ImpactAlpha, August 16 — As many as five out of six people in the U.S. live in urban areas.

San Francisco-based Urban Innovation Fund aims to tackle urban challenges with investments in — and regulatory support for — 30 early-stage tech startups working on transportation, public health and safety, the future of work, energy and sustainability. The average check size will be $1.5 million.

The women-led and -owned venture firm has raised more than $400 million and backed 39 companies in 18 cities to date. At least three of every four founding teams in the portfolio have a woman or person of color; at least half of the portfolio have an immigrant on the founding team.

Companies backed include Ethic, which creates sustainable portfolios for wealth advisors; Electriphi, a smart-charging services company for electric vehicle fleet operators; and Jeeves, a fintech company for small businesses.


Urban Innovation Fund’s founders told TechCrunch that the fund set out to raise $80 million, but met its $101 million hard cap. “The round came together much more quickly than we were expecting,” said Urban Innovation Fund’s Clara Brenner.

The firm created a $20 million Opportunity co-fund to meet demand. That fund will provide late-stage and follow-on funding to portfolio companies. Urban Innovation Fund says 95% of its commitments came from institutional investors.