Ubicquia is helping keep the streetlights on in cities across the country, and its smart cell and smart grid technologies have investors taking notice.
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The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company’s smart city platforms plug into existing streetlights to provide critical services, including light control, video artificial intelligence, and public WiFi. Ubicquia’s tools are now in more than 100 cities, as well as Mexico, Colombia and Chile.
Fuel Venture Capital participated in the $30 million Series C funding round, which gives Ubicquia approximately $60 million in total funds raised since being founded in 2014.
Ubicquia last raised funds two years ago, CEO Ian Aaron told Crunchbase News. Aaron joined the company in 2017, when it was making Internet of Things sensors and devices. He helped the company focus more on creating and commercializing products and building a team.
“We plan to leverage our position for streetlights to help develop 5G faster,” Aaron said. “It is a big challenge to find the sites and get the permitting. What we did is plug in a small cell, shorten the process by over a year, and reduce the cost by 25 percent of what they would have paid.”
Jeff Ransdell, founding partner and managing director at Fuel Venture, said in an interview that the firm has been “leaning in” on 5G and smart cities for the past two years, but was not able to find a company approaching it from an exponential perspective.
“It didn’t take long for us with Lowell [Kraff] and Ian,” Ransdell said. “Ian knows what he is doing, and his background speaks for itself. The theme of 5G smart cities is game-changing and we feel fortunate to be working with Ubicquia.”
The company is just now starting to deploy at scale and will go into 2021 with a sizeable backlog of booked orders pending installation, Aaron said.
“I love that we make cities more connected,” he added.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias