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Procurement and Innovation Tech Startup UrbanLeap Shuts Down

The five-year-old company said it served 35 local governments, helping them buy fireworks, IT systems and even sonography services for cemeteries. The Gov Tech 100 firm recently partnered with CentralSquare Technologies.

UrbanLeap is no more.

The Silicon Valley-based government technology firm that recently boasted that it was “reinventing the public procurement market” has shut down, according to an email from CEO Arik Bronshtein and CTO Erez Druk.

“Fixing government procurement did prove to be hard. And although we got meaningfully close, today we’re shutting down UrbanLeap,” the email read. “Shutting down is a failure. When entrepreneurs are asked why they failed, there is only one adequate answer: ‘I wasn’t good enough.’ We were good, we were smart, we worked insanely hard for 5 years. But we weren’t good enough. And we will share our reflections soon enough.”

The two executives could not be immediately reached for additional comment, and the UrbanLeap website, still up as of Monday afternoon, offered no information or acknowledgment of the company shutdown.

UrbanLeap made the most recent GovTech 100.

In August, in an announcement that helped to illustrate what UrbanLeap was trying to do in the gov tech market, CentralSquare Technologies, which sells public-sector software, said it had formed a strategic partnership with the company.

“This partnership provides government entities a solution to take control of the procurement process within a single platform to develop, publish and evaluate bids,” the announcement read.

According to data from Crunchbase, UrbanLeap raised $4.2 million in total funding and had two investors.

The shutdown email from the company’s executives painted a finer picture of UrbanLeap’s activities.

“35 municipalities used us to deploy $16M+ throughout the procurement process,” the email read. “They leveraged UrbanLeap to procure anything: printers, IT systems, road construction, fireworks and even sonography services to figure out which cemetery spots are currently occupied.”

Back in 2021, the company, after initially aiming to help local governments run pilots and otherwise try out new ideas, launched a procurement tool meant to help public agencies with the buying process. At the time a company executive said the tech could prove especially useful for purchases of products that a specific government had not bought before, or for particularly complicated purchases.

The shutdown email from the UrbanLeap CEO and CTO offers insight on the procurement and gov tech spaces and their challenges — business insight that might feel familiar to other people and organizations involved in public agency operations and gov tech even as the industry as a whole continues to grow and attract significant investment.

“We like to joke that we picked the hardest possible business for our first startup. Governments are not the fastest adopters in the world,” the email read. “Achieving the best outcome for every government purchase is an important mission. Government procurement is how 10 (percent) of the economy is run. It is how taxpayer dollars are being spent. It is how governments are able to provide, and sometimes fail to provide, critical services to their residents.”