I made a $200 investment into Citiesense as a Crowd SAFE security at a valuation cap of $4M and a 20% discount using the Republic platform. For more information on the deal, check out their deal page.
Citiesense is a smart city data management SaaS platform for local business communities. The knowledge platform allows neighborhood operators such as business improvement districts (BIDs) to centralize neighborhood data for planning purposes. Mapping and other data tools allow customers to inventory and manage community assets such as storefront vacancies, tenancy, and foot traffic to keep track of local businesses, real estate, streets, and parks. I invested in the platform because of my love for city data and interest in smart cities to maximize opportunities and decrease waste. I also am impressed with the founder. Although he is a first-time founder, his knowledge, passion, and the way he communicated with investors have me sold.
Company website: https://citiesense.com
Total Addressable Market
By 2025, the local intelligence market is projected to be worth $25B. Globally, smart city technology is gaining traction, with some venture funds such as the Urban Innovation Fund focusing solely on these businesses. The TAM is large, and venture-scalable companies focus on it.
The team already has a beta version of its product in the market. The “neighborhood knowledge platform” is an intuitive database and mapping software that customers can use to map and track data in their neighborhoods. Test customers have provided favorable reviews of the product for its ease of use and useful information they receive from it. The product offers three tiers on a subscription basis: free, team (paid), and district (paid).
Currently, the team consists of two members and runs very lean. The CEO, Star Childs, has a background in city development planning. Although this is his first startup, I’ve been impressed by his knowledge, passion, and communication. The fact that he intentionally found a co-founder to help build the business shows that he is aware he needs a team around him.
Citiesense targets business improvement districts and other nonprofits specifically focused on city development. They have roughly 1K customers using their free tier, 7 using the team tier, and 6 using the district tier. Customers seem to be thrilled with the product, and Citiesense will need to focus on converting free users into paid subscribers.
The company is currently generating steady revenue, earning $40K in 2018. Their target ARR this year is $90K, so they are demonstrating meaningful growth while still only on their product beta. The company plans to expand into Canada and Asia in the coming years.
They’ve gone through accelerator programs and have received funding from SOSV and Urban-X. One drawback is that this is a heavily competitive space. Although Citiesense is the only company focused on neighborhood organizations, their product can be seen as a feature that can be replicated. Competitors include GIS companies for mapping city data, software used for managing a community, and companies focused on real estate dataThe likely exit scenario would be M&A from a larger company.