Wal van Lierop (Chrysalix): We are more than just a financial investor; we are a very active contributor to scaling up companies.
30 Nov, 2021
StreetLight Data, a company utilizing big data for mobility and transportation insights, founded in 2011 by Laura Schewel, with HQ in San Francisco and offices in Richmond, Virginia and Vancouver, BC, Canada, that makes 6000+ transportation machine-learning analyses per month of 5m+ roadways, sidewalks, bike lanes and 40b+location datapoints per month, paved a new development boost of the services provided with $15m Round D from new investors Macquarie Capital and Activate Capital, and existing investors Osage University Partners and Ajax Investment Strategies.
Founder Laura Schewel graduated Ph.D. at UC Berkley, a core partner of OUP which focuses on investing in startups that are commercializing pioneering university technologies. So it is the third investment from them, and Fund’s partner Marc Singer, a VC veteran with vast experience in CleanTech, got a seat in the Board of SLD. AIS focuses exclusively on solving climate change problems and they support SLD because the company helps to improve urban ecology through solving transport traffic problems in cities; moreover, SLD is planning to start monitoring pedestrian, bike and e-transport traffic, and that is evidently the main reason of AIS participation in current and previous Rounds. SLD also collects some hidden information about residents and considering recent investments to Zencity this area looks trendy for VC interests. There are investors of previous Rounds who did not join the Series D, like Engie and Deutsche Telekom through their venture arms, though both played important role in SLD’s success with their expertise in Power Supply business and people’s traffic. Though there are members from them on the Board.
«Quite unusual in the VC business that both new and existing investors have no clear syndicate relations between each other. It means SLD decided to expand the required expertise from various industries. AC could join because they recently invested with AIS to Element Analytics (platform for managing diverse sources of industrial data). AC focuses to the digitalization of everything analogic. AC’s Paul Neal Jordan is a member of the Boards of Ridecell (carsharing & ridesharing services), Volta Charging (a network of electric vehicle charging stations), FLEXE (logistics and fulfillment networks), so we can observe common interests. MC recently made some investments in related areas (Via – on-demand public mobility solutions, In-Charge Energy – accelerating electrification of the transportation industry), but this cooperation does not look as a long-term one. MC has too low follow-on index being a subsidiary of a major bank, so they are more interested in the secondary market investments. So, we think that it will be AC playing the main driving role for the following Rounds as they used to invest $50-100m. Talking about the future of SLD, we think the main focus will be on new infrastructure to planning for autonomous vehicles. It will attract new investment players, prospectively those with syndicate relations with AC like BMW i Ventures, or some other active player in the vertical like Motu Ventures».