London-based transport technology scaleup VivaCity announced on Thursday that it has raised £7M (approximately €7.87M) to expand its services into North America.
The company creates intelligent cameras that collect transportation data using machine learning and computer vision technologies to make cities smarter and more productive places to live and work.
Investors in this round
The investment came from sustainable infrastructure VC investor ENV , along with existing investors, alternative assets and SME investment manager Foresight Group , and Gresham House Ventures , the growth equity arm of Gresham House.
Theodor Schulte, Investment Manager at ENV, says, “Zero emissions and zero casualties are goals that every city should thrive for. We’re convinced that VivaCity’s talented team and their unique technology will help cities globally to achieve this.”
VivaCity: Everything you need to know
Founded in 2015 by Mark Nicholson, Yang Lu and Peter Mildon, VivaCity aims to make cities smarter, safer and more sustainable by helping city authorities with the right transport data at the right time.
The company uses AI sensors to collect precise, detailed, and anonymous data on the various modes of transportation, traffic patterns, and travel behaviour. This data is then used to support strategic decisions aimed at optimising the transportation system and improving urban infrastructure.
To ensure that personal data is never compromised, VivaCity’s AI sensors were created utilising privacy-by-design principles. The company has already installed over 3000 sensors across more than 100 local authorities and aims to further grow internationally.
VivaCity says 2023 will be a turning point for the company with the introduction of its new product line.
The portfolio includes technologies that are specifically designed to address the three main problems the sector is now facing: sustainable transportation, road safety, and network optimisation to reduce traffic.
Nicholson says, “The investment will support us in our mission to optimise transport networks and improve urban infrastructure, increasing both the safety and sustainability of our roads. We look forward to the opportunities that 2023 will bring, especially when it comes to expanding our product suite and continuing our international expansion.”
The raised capital will also help renovate the Colindale Tube station (a London Underground station).
Recent growth and development
VivaCity claims that the latest funding round comes after a strong year of growth. During this time, the company’s worldwide sensor network counted close to 20 billion road users. There were 48 per cent more sensors on the market last year and 94 per cent of consumers renewed their contracts.
In addition to ongoing expansion in Australia, VivaCity’s global team has also grown by 20 per cent in the past 12 months and relocated to larger offices in Shoreditch. Key recruits include Mike Hollingbery , Head of Global Marketing.
The London-based startup also reports that it signed a major new contract this year with Nottingham City Council, which is deploying the company’s sensors citywide to understand how various transport mode volumes affect pollution levels.
The sensor data has also helped Barnet Council’s successful Levelling Up bid.
In order to understand how people are utilising the city’s streets, NYC DOT is assessing how they can utilise this data to simultaneously prioritise projects for the places that require safety and other upgrades the most.