By: Christian Hernandez, Jacob Bro, Christian Jølck, Rahul Parekh
When we started plotting 2150, we talked about the need to think about the urban environment holistically beyond just buildings. We called it the “Urban Stack.” Since then we have invested across all layers from materials, to construction methods, to solutions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, biodiversity tracking and ways to mitigate the urban health challenges posed by air pollution.
Through our partnerships with the broad urban ecosystem we have helped our portfolio companies scale, and with every new deployment, increase their sustainability impact. Our work has helped shed light on the Paradox of Cities: the realisation that cities are good for its human inhabitants, but bad for humanity and our planet.
As the UN Secretary General stated “Cities are where the climate battle will be largely won or lost” and given 50% of global emissions eminate from buildings and the industries that feed, build and power our cities, this is where we know we can have impact at scale.
But our voyage has also made us humbly realise that we cannot achieve our mission alone. McKinsey estimates that $5 trillion must be deployed every year until 2050 to achieve our net-zero ambitions, much of that investment in the built environment. Much has been written about the need for parallel (and coordinated) pools of capital being deployed towards the same goal.
And it is therefore with a sense of excitement (and urgency) that today we are part of the unveiling of a new platform housing €20 billion of assets under management all aligned on the same mission of powering a sustainable future for our cities and its citizens.
Allow us to introduce Urban Partners.
Urban Partners brings together different types of expertise and capital that will allow us to tackle the complex challenges facing cities, by looking at every factor required to decarbonise and regenerate the urban environment rather than real estate or climate tech in isolation, and applying the right financial instrument…at scale.
Urban Partners brings together aligned investment strategies. From building sustainable buildings and neighbourhoods at scale (NREP), backing and scaling sustainable technologies (2150), providing private financing to accelerate a sustainable transition in our cities (Velo Capital) and aggregating and scaling assets and services through private equity (Luma Equity).
Through these initial four members of the family, Urban Partners seeks to be an investor, an educator and an agitator. We are first and foremost an investment platform, but one that seeks to measure its impact alongside its industry-leading financial returns. We are a convener and educator, seeking to move a broad ecosystem of partners, from mayors to fellow investors, forward. And finally, we are an agitator, who seeks to tell the world of the challenge and the opportunity available in the urban space.
To our knowledge, nothing like Urban Partners exists today…but we are hopeful that many others will follow to create this new category of investment focus to deliver on the potential that our cities and its citizens deserve.
While the Partners of 2150 are now also Partners of Urban Partners, our day job and our core focus with 2150 does not change. We continue to investigate the biggest challenges to our planet and to find the founders and technologies that we feel can best solve them. All that changes is that our knowledge and insights, and ability to accelerate the deployment of our solutions, significantly scales through the broader network and touchpoints of the Urban Partners family.
As our name implies, we deeply believe that powering the future of cities and its citizens will only be possible through a interwoven network of partnerships and today we take the first step to help make that a reality.
To learn more visit the Urban Partners website or follow on LinkedIn or Twitter.
2150 is a venture capital firm investing in technology companies that seek to sustainably reimagine and reshape the urban environment. 2150’s investment thesis focuses on major unsolved problems across what it calls the ‘Urban Stack’, which comprises every element of the built environment, from the way our cities are designed, constructed and powered, to the way people live, work and are cared for. Find out more at www.2150.vc. 2150 is a part of Urban Partners.