EIT Urban Mobility investment portfolio grows to 127 ventures

With a total of 46 investments in new startups in 2023, the investment portfolio of EIT Urban Mobility, launched 4 years ago, now contains 127 ventures. The portfolio has a total value of €1bn with companies covering 29 European countries. While these innovations cover all aspect of mobility, they all have one common factor: their positive environmental and social impact on the urban landscape. Some key startups from our portfolio includes Elonroad, Vonzu and Zeabuz.

In 2024, EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU, aims to continue to enlarge the portfolio with an ongoing call for investments and their Investment Readiness Programme. This programme is designed for European startups in the field of urban mobility currently fundraising or planning to do so in 2025. EIT Urban Mobility’s investment strategy focuses on creating positive outcomes for both people and the planet while ensuring competitive market returns.

Fredrik Hanell, Director of Impact Venture at EIT Urban Mobility: “Impact investing means looking to the future when making decisions now. This means that we go beyond financial investments to drive meaningful and lasting change in the urban mobility sector.  As the European leading impact investor in mobility, EIT Urban Mobility, looks for seeds and pre-seeds companies that already have or can have a net positive impact.”

Prominently featured sectors in the portfolio include transport electrification, urban logistics, and mobility data management.  EIT Urban Mobility goes beyond the more traditional aspects of mobility by also investing in sectors such as waterborne mobility and behavioural change through nudging and stimulating walking.  

To measure a company’s net impact, and deliver a transparent view across specific categories, EIT Urban Mobility employs the Upright Net Impact Model, a quantification model that is based on a network summarising more than 250 million scientific articles and a taxonomy of over 150,000 product and service categories. According to this model, EIT Urban Mobility’s portfolio scores a 48% positive net impact score, significantly higher than the 40% of the control group of the Upright Benchmark. The startup companies in the portfolio score especially high on the environmental dimension, +217% compared to benchmark.  Another strong selection point is team diversity and gender balance, resulting in 43% of the equity portfolio being women-led in comparison to the industry average of 18% according to the Report on Women Entrepreneurs in Europe.

On top of this sustainable impact, EIT Urban Mobility has a dedicated investment budget for European economies that require more support in the sector of innovation. These regions defined by the Regional Innovation Scheme, typically have enormous untapped potential and can greatly benefit from investments in innovation and mobility. By directing resources to these areas, EIT Urban Mobility contributes to economic growth, job creation, and the development of sustainable transportation systems.

Braga’s move towards future-forward urban mobility: a city in motion

  • In a launch session, the city of Braga presented the three urban mobility solutions that will be tested in the city thanks to EIT Urban Mobility’s innovation initiative. 
  • The kick-off event was presented by Ricardo Rio, City of Braga’s Mayor, Olga Pereira, Councillor for Mobility of the Municipality of Braga and María Paula Caycedo, Head of EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Hub South, at the Town Hall premises. 
  • The project is financed with €180,000 of European investment to the city for the three pilot projects that will be implemented for 6 months to tackle active mobility, cycling and parking spaces.

Braga, 25 November 2023 – Braga City Council will test three innovative solutions in the area of sustainable mobility in a stride towards sustainable and efficient urban living. The projects, presented this Monday in an event hosted at the city town hall, were selected by EIT Urban Mobility as part of one of our major innovation programmes.  Our RAPTOR project – previously called #ChallengeMyCity – aims to test innovative solutions from start-ups and SMEs with a six-month pilot project to evaluate its social, economic, and environmental impact in the city and estimate long-term integration into Braga’s mobility strategy.

Bicycle safety and monitoring the flow of cyclists, promoting active mobility in the city centre and improving the monitoring and use of loading and unloading bays are the three projects that, according to the Mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio, “will help us to know the reality more accurately”. “Based on the results achieved, we’ll be able to develop mobility policies better suited to our municipality,” said the Mayor.

 
Mrs Olga Pereira, President of the board of directors of Transportes Urbanos de Braga; María Paula Caycedo, Head of EIT Urban Mobility Innovation Hub South and Mr Ricardo Rio, Mayor of Braga during the launch event hosted at the city’s town hall.  (Credit – CM Braga)

About the implemented solutions

The first project (“Telraam”) for bicycle safety and cyclist flow monitoring will install 15 sensors in the city centre to count and categorise metrics, namely road user count, means of transport, and estimated speed.

The “Walkflow” project is a solution for analysing pedestrian movement patterns in the city centre using anonymous mobile location data and application aggregator data. This initiative will make it possible to characterise the type of user, the origin/destination, the purpose of the activity or the frequency of journeys.

Finally, “Parkunload” aims to test 25 smart parking zones for more efficient use of loading and unloading areas, reducing congestion in the city centre. Using a mobile application and Bluetooth sensors, this system will enable managing, regulating, and analysing car parks in loading and unloading zones.

Read the news at Braga’s city town website: Câmara Municipal de Braga | Notícias | Braga testa soluções de mobilidade sustentável (cm-braga.pt)

EIT Urban Mobility at Slush: Where to invest next in the mobility sector. 

EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the EU and a driving force in sustainable mobility solutions, is set to headline Slush 2023 with a focus on impact-driven investments and the significant role of women-led start-ups. The organisation’s involvement in the renowned event, will allow to share insights and perspectives on the future of the mobility sector.  

EIT Urban Mobility will lead a session at Slush 2023 titled:

“Where to invest next in the mobility sector.”

Scheduled for the 1st of December at 11:30 am GMT+2, room 101D 

The session will feature Fredrik Hanell, Director of Impact Venture for EIT Urban Mobility, Dr. Terhi Vapola, Managing Partner & Founder Greencode Ventures, member of European Women in VC and Johan Høgåsen- Hallesby Co-founder Beta Mobility discussing key aspects such as the unique challenges and opportunities in mobility investments, potential pitfalls, and the trajectory of the sector in the coming years. The session will be moderated by Cate Lawrence, senior writer at Tech.EU. 

To enlarge the chances of impactful start-ups, EIT Urban Mobility has invited a dozen of its portfolio start-ups to Slush 2023. The start-ups invited Cogo (Denmark); Geofluxus (The Netherlands); Elonroad (Sweden); Zeabuz (Norway); ITC (Israel); Vonzu (Spain); Met3r (Hungary); Bia (Spain); Meight (Portugal); Dreamwaves (Austria); Mioo (Sweden). 

After 5 years in existence, EIT Urban Mobility launches its first impact report of their investment portfolio.  

EIT Urban Mobility’s investment strategy focuses on creating positive outcomes for both people and the planet while ensuring competitive market returns. The organisation evaluates portfolio companies based on impact metrics and financial indicators, emphasizing a commitment to businesses that contribute to a net positive impact on the world. In a mere span of four years, our start-up portfolio has surpassed industry standards in terms of potential for societal and environmental improvement. An impressive 44% of start-ups under our umbrella are steered by leaders who are women, in contrast to the industry average of 18%. 

In order to measure a company’s net impact, and deliver a transparent view across specific categories, we employ the Upright Net Impact Model, a quantification model that is based on a neural network summarising more than 250 million scientific articles, public statistical databases and a proprietary taxonomy of over 150,000 product and service categories. According to this model, EIT Urban Mobility’s portfolio scores a 48% positive net impact score, significantly higher than the 40% of the control group of the Upright Benchmark. The start-up companies in the portfolio score especially high on the environmental dimension, +217% compared to benchmark.  

“While traditional ESG (environmental, social, and governance) approaches are valuable for ensuring that companies adhere to responsible practices, EIT Urban Mobility recognises their limitations when it comes to cultivating the companies our future requires. Therefore, we invest in net positive impact-oriented companies to accomplish their objectives of creating liveable urban areas.” commented Fredrik Hanell, Director Impact Ventures EIT Urban Mobility, “We maintain a strict focus on evaluating our portfolio companies based on their impact metrics as well as financial indicators. Our ultimate goal is to boost businesses that do tangible good in the world, creating a net positive impact on our planet.” 

The portfolio companies play a crucial role in addressing the complex urban mobility challenges that cities around the world face through the development of sustainable solutions. The report aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of the sustainability efforts and outcomes of these dynamic companies, shedding light on their contributions to create a more sustainable and liveable urban future.