Fuelled by $6.2 million CAD ($5 million USD) in Series A funding and the backing of investors with industry expertise, Toronto-based Citylitics wants to expand its predictive intelligence platform to cover more types of infrastructure.
Citylitics’ data and predictive intelligence software helps infrastructure stakeholders, like manufacturers, suppliers, engineering, investment, and consulting firms spot and pursue sales opportunities by analyzing public documents to determine where public infrastructure investments are being made.
“We realized there was something even bigger if we expanded to all areas of infrastructure.”
Citylitics was founded in 2012, with a focus on water infrastructure, under the name WatrHub. The startup pivoted to focusing on infrastructure more broadly in 2019, following requests from customers to offer its service for other segments of the sector. The company officially rebranded to Citylitics last year.
“We had a good, high-impact business with WatrHub, but we realized there was something even bigger if we expanded to all areas of infrastructure, and that’s what we did,” Citylitics co-founder and CEO Ahmed Badruddin told BetaKit in an interview.
To date, Citylitics has carved out a presence in water, public transit, transportation—including roads, bridges, and highways—and aviation. Now, with the help of its Series A capital, the plans to bolster its platform and move into verticals like broadband, waste management, power and electricity, and renewable energy. To fuel this expansion, Citylitics intends to add another 25 employees to its 40-person team over the next year across its sales, marketing, customer success, and engineering teams.
Citylitics’ all-equity Series A round closed earlier this month, and was led by a pair of new Texas-based investors in Dallas Venture Capital and Cerium Technology Ventures, with participation from Klister and GCI. The raise brings the startup’s total funding to nearly $12.5 million CAD ($10 million USD).
The company’s platform ingests data and public documents generated by cities, utilities, and public agencies, such as council meeting minutes, budgets, capital plans, permits, and environmental reports. Using a combination of machine learning and human expertise, Citylitics searches these files for indicators of infrastructure needs. Citylitics converts these indicators into predictive market intelligence for North American infrastructure industry stakeholders to help them determine which project opportunities to pursue and how.
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“Trillions of dollars are spent every year to maintain and improve our infrastructure,” said Badruddin. “Our customers are solution providers …and we have given them a more efficient, faster, and more digital alternative [means] of connecting with cities and utilities at that planning stage.”
Badruddin said Citylitics wanted to secure “the right set of investors,” and sought out firms with a background in two areas: data and infrastructure.
“Dallas brings more of the deep tech, AI, data-as-a-service [expertise], and then Cerium with energy infrastructure brings the domain expertise, so it’s a great combination,” said Badruddin.
As part of the round, Dallas Partner Ravish Ailinani and Cerium founder and Chairman Eldon Klaassen are joining Citylitics’ board of directors.
As Dallas Venture Capital founder and Managing Partner Dayakar Puskoor puts it, North America is currently experiencing “a once in a generation infrastructure investment boom” that has led to increased demand for Citylitics’ platform. Over the past year, Badruddin said Citylitics has seen a “triple digit percentage growth rate.”
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But Puskoor sees even more room to grow for the Toronto startup. “After extensive due diligence, our team felt that Citylitics is only scratching the surface in terms of the value-add they can create for their customers through the unique datasets and the predictive capabilities they deliver,” said Puskoor.
Citylitics serves the municipal, county, state, and provincial levels. Badruddin says there is a particular need for visibility at the local level, where there is “a lot more fragmentation” and often tens of thousands of buyers.
Klaassen argues that the startup’s platform has changed the landscape of municipal infrastructure projects by bringing transparency to the planning and development process.
Badruddin is betting that better data will lead to better infrastructure investments.
“We really want to change how infrastructure investments get made, how infrastructure procurement gets done,” said Badruddin. “We believe that there’s a lot of solutions out there that can make infrastructure much more efficient, more climate-resilient. And we believe that with that access to better data, ultimately, better decisions get made [and] better infrastructure gets enabled.”
Feature image courtesy Citylitics.