ARK-i Labs, a New York-based smart city investment company, plays a pivotal role in leading smart city projects by planning smart city master plans and raising funds from the private sector.
They are reimagining the way we address key societal and environmental challenges through curating cross-sectoral technology solutions. As we enter into the fourth industrial revolution, we are faced with issues that rise in efficiency, transparency and economics of conventional infrastructures. The company has collaborated with companies from around the world, including projects in New York, Hanoi, UK, The Netherlands, Ukraine, etc.
A smart city should not only provide a wide range of urban services through infrastructure with the incorporation of ICT and energy sustainability, but also offer an inclusive community dedicated for people, security, and living. Technologies and services in a smart city include surveillance, mobility, healthcare, transportation, waste management, and more. Their Tech Sandbox offers companies to contribute to building the future.
Smart City Tech Sandbox – ARK-i Labs along with their affiliated company XnTREE invite hundreds of global SMEs and start-ups for annual cohort programs, fostering around 25% of them for investment. Company valuation methods are carried out by various financial institutions, IT companies, and industry mentors with successful fully receiving Series Funding.
Through their Tech Sandbox, they grant Seed round and Series A funding to about 25% of the start-ups from the annual cohort programs. The initial investment capital is received by offering equity to various working groups of Financial/Strategic Investors in a form of shares, in which they purchase them.
The funding process eventually evolves to Series B – D when the start-ups get close to a phase ready for exit strategies – additional investment capital is obtained from the Global Syndicate Fund in the same way as that of the initial investment method. During this time, the focus is to expand the start-ups to other smart city markets in different regions around the world.
For live projects, around 30% of the budget comes from the municipality after accepting LOC and providing policy protection. The four stages of their Tech Sandbox are acceleration, technology validation, open demo validation, and global investor relations.
Inclusiveness, connectivity through technology, and adaptation of machine-integrated life have not only been this achievable before, but they are also now necessary for the sake of our environment and efficiency. ARK-i Labs aim to branch out globally and seek success to conventionalize the concept of innovation of “smart” cities. Launching projects in districts with a growing market and offering opportunities to high-potential start-ups is their code of conduct while ensuring a sustainable growth of economy and future.
MASTER PLANNING Basic design, implementation plan and operation Establishing Special Purpose Corporation (SPC) and Smart City Steering Committee Pipeline: Hanoi (Vietnam), Lviv (Ukraine), London, U.S Cities.
INVESTMENT FUND: Global Smart City Linked Investment Fund, LPs: Financial Investors and Strategic Investors, Target Investment: domestic / overseas tech-based startups and Smart City Tech Sandbox winners.
TECH SANDBOX: 12-month cohort programme, Fostering 100 + startups/tech SMEs annually and invest in 15 ~ 25% of them, High-growth investments in series A – C stages, Proven model to nurture early-stage startups to unicorns within 3-5 years.
Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of openbusinesscouncil.org, tradersdna.com, hedgethink.com, and writes regularly for intelligenthq.com, socialmediacouncil.eu. Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist, he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.