ZenCity, an Israel-based start-up that provide local governments with the tools they need to make data-driven decisions, has raised US$6 million in funding with the help of Microsoft’s corporate ventures fund M12, Vertex Ventures and Canaan Partners Israel.
The Tel-Aviv based start-up uses big data and artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to continuously collect and analyse data from sources such as social media and city hotlines to provide local governments with real-time insights into the needs and priorities of citizens. By doing this, ZenCity provides local governments with a tool to incorporate wide-scale community feedback into their decision making processes.
ZenCity will use its recent funding to expand the data analytics capabilities of its tool and expand its presence in countries around the world. This will include the US, where it has rapidly expanded into seven different states in less than a year.
“It’s been a very exciting year,” said Eyal Feder-Levy, ZenCity’s CEO and co-founder. “ZenCity’s rapid growth in the US is a testament to the commitment that cities have to connecting with and understanding their citizens. It also reflects an increasing demand by US cities to be more data-driven. A s more and more cities get onboard with our solution, the exciting potential of AI in local government becomes even more evident.”
ZenCity also recently won M12’s AI start-up competition, Innovate.AI, which was conducted in partnership with Vertex Ventures.
“The goal of Innovate.AI was to find the most innovative start-ups harnessing the power of AI to solve real-world challenges,” said Lior Litwak, principal at M12. “ZenCity’s mission of making city leadership more empathic and attentive to community needs truly resonated with us. We are excited to invest in ZenCity to help them expand its use of AI and ensure citizen voices are heard.”
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