- Populus, which offers a platform to help cities manage streets and curbs amid new forms of mobility and delivery services, announced last week an oversubscribed $11 million Series A funding round.
- Co-founder and CEO Regina Clewlow said the new funding will “accelerate advancements” of the company’s digital curb management platform. Populus says its platform is currently used in more than 100 cities globally.
- Further, the company plans to use the new capital for key strategic hires and to scale its curb and mobility management platform to additional cities worldwide. Populus has begun its focus on expanding its digital curb solutions to cities throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Cities continue to show interest in new technology to better manage curbs. In May, the Open Mobility Foundation’s board of directors approved the Curb Data Specification 1.0 tool, designed to improve the safety of curb space and maximize its use. And the city of Pittsburgh, for instance, has instituted smart loading zones as a pilot program.
The core technology of Populus allows cities to securely access data from new mobility and fleet operators. It then provides cities with key information to shape transportation policies and dynamic curbside rules such as pricing that incentivizes transitions toward lower-carbon delivery vehicles or overall reduced congestion.
Populus takes in data from more than 40 mobility operators, such as micromobilty and carsharing service providers and 150 million rides to date in cities throughout the world, a list that includes Baltimore, Chicago and San Diego, among others.
In Oakland, California, for example, Populus provides access to its curb and mobility management platform to digitally manage shared scooters and cars, and validate curbside usage. And in Seattle, the company is working with the city to support converting digital inventory of its curb regulations into the new Curb Data Specification (CDS) so the data can be more easily shared with key stakeholders such as delivery companies, ride-hailing services, and autonomous vehicles, Clewlow noted.
“Cities can also easily deploy digital smart loading zones that are hardware-free and hassle-free,” Clewlow said. “We are replacing cumbersome hardware-based solutions like parking meters with digital infrastructure.”
Clewlow noted Populus was founded out of a desire to help cities deliver safer, more carbon-efficient transportation as new commercial fleet services continue to expand.
The recent funding round was led by Zero Infinity Partners and Climactic with participation from Comcast Ventures and Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures. John Kwaak, founder and managing partner at Zero Infinity Partners, and Raj Kapoor, a former Lyft executive who’s co-founder and managing partner at Climactic, are joining Populus’ board of directors as a result of the investment.