“All kinds of automation are great, BUT a city is about satisfying the quality of life of its residents before everything. Integrated dashboards with AI and robots, and tech-supported decision makings are a life-long technical dream of all generations of urban professionals, engineers, architects, but most of the people would agree that there would not be worse governance than the one of scientist government. For the simple reason that humans are sensitive entities more than rational ones, highly unpredictable and so far never completely understood by any science.”
3D geospatial models are superior to 2D models when it comes to planning purposes as 3D is able to effectively capture terrain, sites, buildings, vegetation, infrastructure, and landscape elements. These can also be layered with additional data sets for use in presentations, planning, exploration, analysis, and management applications in a dynamic format that can readily adapt to changing conditions. However, building these 3D models has traditionally been expensive and time-consuming. Geopipe is a deep learning-powered engine that creates what the company calls “digital twins” that are constructed from raw sensor data and then combined with data processed through a semantic engine to add further context to create the Metaverse, a “massively multi-use environment that replicates our real world”. The platform is versatile as it can be applied to a variety of use cases including training simulations, city planning, coastal resiliency planning, construction, and even gaming. Geopipe’s models can be integrated into existing workflows that use 3D software or gaming/VR engines and can be accessed for as low as $100/mo for commercial use. AlleyWatch caught up with Geopipe CEO and Cofounder Christopher Mitchell, Ph.D. to learn more about the genesis of the company, future plans, latest round of funding from investors that include Village Global, Matrix Partners, the Alexa Fund, and AME Cloud Ventures.
The Powersports market (jet skis, motorcycles, ATVs, etc) is expected to surpass $50M per annum by 2027. 80% of purchases in this market require financing. Octane is a point-of-sale platform that enables power sport dealers and brands to provide automated financing solutions to their customers to close transactions. The company’s end-to-end platform covers all aspects of the lending process from origination to closing. Initially, a marketplace to connect lenders and purchasers, Octane launched its own lending unit, Roadrunner Financial, in 2016. To support the end-to-end purchase experience for consumers, the startup also operates a number of content destinations that are focused on editorial content for Powersports enthusiasts. Octane is currently working with over 3800 dealers and directly with ~50 brands, supported by a team of 300+ that’s growing fast. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Jason Guss to learn more about the massive opportunity for financing in the Powersports market, the company’s strategic plans, and latest round of funding that comes at a $900M+ valuation from investors that includes Progressive Investment CompanyValar Ventures, Upper90, Contour Venture Partners, Citi Ventures, Third Prime, Parkwood, Gaingels, and ALIVE.
As we close out spring in the city and summer approaches, New Yorkers will be largely reliant on window air conditioners to get through the hot, blistering days in their apartments. 75% of the buildings in NYC’s five boroughs were constructed before 1960 and central air systems in buildings became more prevalent in the latter portion of the 1960s. Even in cases where a building is refurbished, many developers opt to avoid the immense cost of retrofitting central systems due to immense costs and regulations. While window air conditioners haven’t changed much in appearance, Windmill modernizes the window air-conditioner with its state-of-the-art, wifi-connected units. Retailing for ~$395, the company offers a powerful, efficient unit that cools rooms up to 350sq feet; the sleek casing looks more like an Apple product than a typical box that hasn’t really evolved in decades. Windmill’s first model is available direct-to-consumer through its site and online through Home Depot; the company will be sold in PC Richard showrooms and its website soon. AlleyWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Mike Mayer to learn more about the inspiration of the business, the future expansion plans, and latest round of funding from investors that include Pentland Ventures, Untitled, Next Play Ventures, and Graph Ventures.
Buildings generate 80% of New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions. Improving energy efficiency isn’t only important to the environment but it also reduces costs, making housing more affordable in the long run. BlocPower is an energy technology startup that combines technology with structured finance solutions to encourage business owners to abandon their existing, obsolete heating and cooling solutions and replace them with sustainable alternatives. The company leverages machine learning to identify the buildings that will benefit the most from energy savings. For building owners, there is no upfront cost and repayment comes directly from energy savings. The company has already retrofitted 1000+ buildings in NYC and is expanding its efforts nationwide with projects in progress in 24 cities.
AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and cofounder Donnel Baird to learn more about the company, how his work with the Obama administration sparked the idea for the business, the company’s future plans, recent round of funding from investors that include American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact (AmFam), AccelR8 and The Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group, with participation from Kapor Capital, Elemental Excelerator, CityRock Venture Partners, The Schmidt Family Foundation and Salesforce Ventures.
There are approximately 22 billion sensors used in the automotive industry per year according to a 2017 study and the average automobile has at least 60 individual sensors. The push towards autonomous vehicles will only increase the number of sensors used exponentially. Actasys has built a critical sensor-cleaning technology for vehicles and smart mobility systems ensuring that these sensors can be operated continuously safely. ActaJet™ is an electronically controlled array of actuator cartridges that generates strong jets of air without the need for mechanical pumps or compressors. The company is partnered with automotive companies like Volvo and the technology is also being deployed in other use-cases such as robots, camera systems, traffic monitors, and more. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO Miles Flamenbaum to learn more about the core technology, its practical uses, and the company’s recent funding round.
Conjure (formerly Mobley) offers a flexible furniture rental model that gives customers access to designer-curated furniture pieces and home accessories for 3-12 months. The service also includes free assembly and delivery as well as the option to trade-in, purchase, or return pieces at the end of the lease term. AlleyWatch caught up with COO and Cofounder Aditya Khilnani to learn more about how Conjure impacts the home décor industry, makes designer furniture accessible, and the company’s recent funding from investors that include Pillar VC, RiverPark Ventures, and CoVenture.
Epidemics have shaped the development of urban settings – the plague in Athens, the Black Death in Rome, and Cholera outbreaks in the 1800s in London and New York. As society wrestles the effects of this pandemic, the world is reimaging on what life will look like Post-COVID including how cities, which comprise over half of the world’s population, will be affected in the near and long-term. Today, we chat with Miguel Gamino Jr., Executive Vice President for Global Cities at Mastercard, where he leads Global Cities and City Possible, connecting academia, government, and industry to foster inclusive sustainable urban development that’s reshaping the world we live in today and setting the foundation for tomorrow. He was kind enough to join us to provide some candid insight into the meaningful work that Mastercard is doing in New York and globally to address some of the challenges that cities face through partnerships, innovation, and data.
In 2012, Rahul Gandhi was living in Brooklyn when Hurricane Sandy hit. The amount of destruction and flooding required the need for temporary storage. That experience led to the founding of MakeSpace with the mission to change the complex, expensive, and labor-intensive experience of self-storage. Fast forward to today and MakeSpace is now available in 31 markets across North America, with over 30,0000 customers and has raised a total of $142.6M across seven rounds. Gandhi shares more about the impressive journey and future plans…
Autonomous eVTOLs (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing systems) are coming sooner than you think.
Like the city that hosts the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) there is a lot of noise on the show floor. Sifting through the lights, sounds, and people can be an arduous task even for the most experienced CES attendees. Hidden past the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) is a walkway to a tech […]