The main services within the smart city stack are consulting and integration services. Cities do not have the design, technical, integration, or data analysis skills to be able to make the journey to become smart cities on their own. There is an active market for smart city design and integration services, which stitch together applications for smart buildings, transportation, infrastructure, and power grids.

Listed below are the leading private companies in smart cities, as identified by GlobalData.

BlocPower – US

BlocPower is a start-up that markets and finances the installation of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in religious institutions, small businesses, and non-profits in under-served communities. BlocPower’s mission is to connect churches and organisations in a community so that they can get a bargain for energy-efficient products, including insulation to solar panels.

Huawei – China

Huawei has a strong position in 5G technology and is a significant player in smart cities, though its positioning is threatened by the ongoing trade war between China and the US. The company has helped build more than 160 smart cities in over 100 countries and regions. One of those cities is Gelsenkirchen in Germany, where Huawei designed a city-wide security platform that brought together local businesses, city officials, and law enforcement to maximise safety, minimise theft and other crimes, and provide future city services.

Inrix – US

Inrix specialises in real-time traffic analytics. It has raised $143m through seven rounds of equity funding from investors including Intel and Porsche. Inrix’s system helps cities in optimising parking management, preparing for large events, improving driver safety, and addressing emergency response inefficiencies.

Remix – US

San Francisco-based Remix provides a public transportation planning platform that is already being used by transit agencies in more than 200 cities. Once installed, the platform will pull data about the area’s existing transit networks, evaluate alternatives, and make suggestions for improvements. The staff can use the system to create and test new routes and transportation scenarios. The company has raised $12m through two rounds of funding to date.

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By GlobalData

Veniam – Portugal

Founded by two Portuguese professors and the CEO and CTO of Zipcar, Veniam aims to turn vehicles into Wi-Fi hotspots to create a transport network. It argues that the world can’t wait for 5G and should be turning to connected vehicles and autonomous vehicles to become decentralised providers of mobile internet services. Veniam has raised over $30m in venture capital, and is backed by companies such as Verizon, Cisco, Liberty Global, Yamaha Motors, and Orange.

WaterSmart Software – US

San Francisco-based WaterSmart Software has taken in more than $13m through six rounds of equity funding. The company has built a platform that allows residents to find out how much water they are using. It has partnered with cities such as San Jose and Pasadena in California and Buda and Waco in Texas to allow customers to log in through a mobile app or online customer portal with information on their water usage. WaterSmart sends customers reports that compare their water usage with similar-sized homes. The software also provides residents with water-saving tips, news, and leakage notifications through mobile devices or by email.

This is an edited extract from the Smart cities – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.