Location Intelligence And Urban Planning Company UrbanFootprint Secures $11.5 Million

By Dan Anderson ● February 14, 2020
  • UrbanFootprint — a leading location intelligence and urban planning software company — announced it has raised $11.5 million in Series A funding

UrbanFootprint — a leading location intelligence and urban planning software company — announced it has raised $11.5 million in Series A funding to advance its offerings and grow its customer base of cities, urban planners, and companies across the energy, mobility, and real estate sectors. The investors in this round included Valo Ventures, Social Capital, and Radicle Impact.

“Businesses across every major industry are realizing that to succeed in cities, you need to understand them,” said Joe DiStefano, CEO of UrbanFootprint. “By creating easy access to essential planning data and analyses, UrbanFootprint offers a new solution for anyone focused on cities or urban markets to build more efficiently and sustainably.”

The company’s built-in data and toolset allow users to quickly understand critical urban insights such as climate and hazard impacts and accessibility to transportation hubs or points of interest. And as nearly 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050, both government and business are turning to UrbanFootprint as the ultimate tool to understand cities — ranging from where people live, work, and commute, to zoning, physical and environmental conditions, infrastructure, etc.

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“We are extremely grateful for the incredible support we’ve received from experienced investors, Valo Ventures, Social Capital, and Radicle Impact, who bring deep experience and purpose in creating a brighter, sustainable future for all,” added Peter Calthorpe, Co-Founder of UrbanFootprint. “Their expertise will be invaluable as we continue to scale our platform and bring even more urban insights to cities, urban planners, and companies working and competing in urban markets.”

By combining data, analysis, and advanced scenario planning, UrbanFootprint dramatically improves the toolset available to cities and urban planners to design more sustainable, equitable and resilient communities. Plus it also supports mobility, energy, insurance, real estate, and other emerging, and established industries with a comprehensive platform of actionable insights and ground-level data to navigate cities and urban markets.

“We invested in UrbanFootprint because their cloud-delivered software provides urban planners, corporations, policymakers, and local governments access to useful models of the built environment, with analytical tools and visualization to make data-informed decisions concerning environment impact, climate risk, property development, zoning, transportation, infrastructure, public spaces, and more, to improve the quality of life and return on investment” noted Scott Tierney, Managing Partner at Valo Ventures.

UrbanFootprint is able to help businesses plan their expansions, identify where to devote resources, and understand current and future economic, social and environmental implications across markets.

“Cities are superstructures for culture, lifestyles, aspirations, and well-being – the real “social networks” in our lives,” explained Jay Zaveri, Partner at Social Capital. “Since 2018, UrbanFootprint has helped private and civic planners, mobility and energy companies execute nearly 4,000  projects in over 700 cities in the U.S., providing answers for complex scenarios in a matter of hours. This is a phenomenal effort as we move to seven billion urban citizens by 2050, with the urgent need of this decade being resilience and preparedness for urban systems.”

The platform is known for serving up thousands of essential data sets covering land use and real estate, transportation systems, environmental resources, climate and hazard risks, health, and socio-demographic characteristics. And models track scenario performance in real-time and the industry’s most advanced user interface enables planners and enterprises to search and evaluate nearly all U.S. locations with ease.

UrbanFootprint is already being used by hundreds of planners, designers, and engineers across private planning firms, cities, and businesses, who want to utilize the power of data and analysis to build smarter, evaluate urban markets, and plan for resilience. 

“Land use planning in cities is a key leverage point in our collective efforts to combat climate change and promote social equity and economic growth,” added Catha Groot, Partner at Radicle Impact. “UrbanFootprint’s powerful software — built on decades of work by the founding team at the frontier of scenario planning and “new urbanism” — enables decision-makers to better understand the impacts of land use and development plans, invites new participants to have a seat at the table and drives to better outcomes. We’re excited to support the UrbanFootprint team in their effort to build a technology company with such catalytic impact potential.”

For example, Gehl — a global urban strategy and design consultancy — is using UrbanFootprint to analyze how cities and micro-mobility companies can target deployment of bikeshare and scooters to neighborhoods where these options will have the most impact based on job accessibility, open space and neighborhood amenities.

“At Gehl we’re a bridge between city governments and the companies that shape public space, like developers and mobility providers,” commented Blaine Merker, Partner and Managing Director of US at Gehl. “UrbanFootprint helps us translate cities’ strategic goals on climate, equity and health to inform products and services offered by the private sector. We’re using UrbanFootprint to shape these emerging markets for the public interest.”

To focus on resilience, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the nation’s largest combined gas and electric utilities, is using UrbanFootprint to better understand the impacts of heatwaves on their infrastructure and distribution network along with analyzing how this may affect key risk and resilience factors for the communities they serve.

“PG&E’s Climate Resilience team is working to ensure that PG&E is building a resilient system that will be able to continue to provide safe, affordable, and reliable energy to its customers amidst the growing risks of climate change,” noted Heather Rock, Climate Resilience Chief at PG&E. “To that end, we are using forward-looking climate data to better inform how we plan and protect our infrastructure, employees, customers, and communities in which we serve. UrbanFootprint is an important partner to us as we seek data and tools that allow us to assess and mitigate these risks in a thoughtful way.”