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Curb Management Firm Populus Raises $11M Amid Expansion

The government technology company focuses on managing traffic and curbs — hot real estate in large cities — via data sharing and its platform. The new funding round includes a firm founded by actor Robert Downey Jr.

A bike lane next to a curb on a city street.
Populus, a traffic management platform, has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round as the company continues its expansion in Chicago and elsewhere.

According to a statement from the company, the funding round was co-led by Zero Infinity Partners and Climactic with participation from Comcast Ventures and Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition Ventures.

Now, with this fresh capital, the company gains two members on its board of directors: John Kwaak, founder and managing partner of Zero Infinity Partners, and Raj Kapoor, co-founder and managing partner of Climactic.

The company’s platform is designed to help local governments manage streets and curbs, according to Populus, giving officials access to data focused on such transport modes as shared bikes, scooters, ride-sharing, delivery vehicles and mopeds.

More than 100 cities around the world use the platform, which cities can use for a variety of work including transportation pricing, reducing carbon emissions and congestion and crafting transportation policies.

The company’s clients include Chicago, San Diego and Tel Aviv.

Chicago recently hired the company as a data management platform for the city’s scooter program, among other tasks. The work includes up to three scooter providers sharing data via the Populus platform, which will also work with Chicago’s Divvy bike-share program.

The new funding will go toward what the company called “strategic hires” and scaling the Populus platform.

“We founded Populus because we are passionate about helping cities deliver safer, more carbon efficient transportation as new commercial fleet services continue to expand,” said Regina Clewlow, Populus co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “Now, more than ever, cities have realized that they need to manage their precious physical real estate — curbs and streets — to ensure that as mobility continues to evolve, city leaders can prioritize transportation safety and sustainability.”

This new funding round from Populus reflects not only the increasing variety of urban transport but the growing understanding of the value of the city curb — that real estate is becoming hotter thanks to ride-sharing, delivery services and other factors, attracting the attention of more local officials and government technology firms.