URBAN-X, the accelerator program focused on companies developing technologies to increase the sustainability, resiliency and efficiency of cities, has selected seven companies for its latest cohort.
Operating as a partnership between BMW’s Mini brand and the early-stage investment fund Urban.Us since 2017, the accelerator has backed 51 companies, which have raised more than $100 million in the three years since its initial launch.
“Mini aims to inspire entrepreneurship, design and collaboration with innovative minds, and this ambition comes to life through URBAN-X,” said Esther Bahne, head of Mini Brand Strategy & Innovation.
Co-investors who have come in to invest behind the accelerator include: Fred Wilson, Brad Burnham, Edgar Bronfman Jr., BMW i Ventures, Draper Associates, Fontinalis Partners, Ekistic Ventures, Wireframe Ventures, Fifth Wall Ventures, Samsung NEXT, Story Ventures, Kairos, UL Ventures, Mark Cuban, Point 72 Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
Some of the largest investments to date have been in companies like Blueprint Power, which raised $4 million for its technology that provides energy efficiency and demand response tools connecting real estate portfolios to the power grid; Roadbotics, roadway monitoring to optimize maintenance spending for cities, utilities and construction firms, which raised $11.4 million; and Versatile Natures, which provides safety and budget management tools for construction sites.
The latest companies to be accepted into the accelerator are:
ChargeLab: an electric vehicle charging management service for businesses, utilities, individuals and governments.
CoInspect: a service that automates the entire food safety and quality management workflow for restaurants and food processing facilities.
Eva: a provider of charging stations for healthcare and emergency responders operating cargo drones and associated vertical take-off vehicles.
Firmus: a machine learning-based software toolkit to expedite the construction design review process.
Hades: the developer of software to evaluate sewer and flood prevention infrastructure.
Metalmark: a new materials developer for highly efficient catalytic decomposition of air pollutants.
UsurpPower: the creator of a marketplace for sustainable finance for renewable power generation.
“URBAN-X, Urban Us and MINI are deeply committed to advancing the low carbon, resilient, high density future of our cities through technology, investment and mentorship,” said Shaun Abrahamson, URBAN-X Investment Committee and managing partner at Urban.Us, in a statement. “Startups are critical to playing an outsized role in reimagining the core sectors of our cities — like transportation, real estate and energy — and we’re thrilled to invest in this new class of creative and entrepreneurial minds.”