In 1982, Blade Runner showed 2019 Los Angeles. The movie missed on all of the tech: no internet, no smartphones, no renewable energy. Polaroid and Atari are just shadows today. But 30 years ago, they predicted today's grand urban challenges: climate, urbanization, traffic, housing, inequality, security. Now, cities contribute 70% of emissions and urban populations will double by 2050. Some of today's most valuable companies are already working to solve these problems from Uber and Wework to Palantir and SolarCity.
We created a new approach to find, fund and de-risk early stage startups that make city life better. We work with the Urban.Us Network of more than 900 people who have specific investment interest and expertise in the areas in which we invest. They don’t just help us find opportunities but also help the founders to solve challenges ranging from marketing consumer hardware to selling to local government.
Our mission and focus provide us with an opportunity to invest in great startups alongside larger, more established funds. Our portfolio companies lead the way in areas ranging from law enforcement and local government efficiency to residential water savings and drone-assisted construction. These investments are not just opportunities for competitive financial return, but also offer the opportunity for dramatic public benefits.
Each opportunity will go through the same diligence and approval process as our fund investments. This includes our startup candidate introduction to the Urban.Us Network In fact, we view this syndicate as an additional step in our seed stage investment process.
However, only some of our deals will be syndicated for two reasons: (1) we need to make sure the teams are interested in the potential benefits of syndicates; (2) we need to have a sufficiently large allocations to bring deals to this syndicate.