Accelerating growth through joint sales with Microsoft
What does Zencity do?
Zencity works with local governments around the world that want to make their cities operate better—ones that strive to offer residents not only more efficient government operations, but also a higher quality of life. As the company’s motto says: “We believe in cities. We believe in people. We believe in data.” Or as Eyal Feder-Levy, Co-founder and CEO of Zencity elucidates, “Cities are fascinating. At the local level we actually deal with the economic, environmental, and social challenges of everyday living.”
Zencity gathers and analyzes data from millions of sources, including resident and collection system interactions with the city government. Examples include digital records of 311 calls, millions of comments and complaints from social media, mentions on news websites, response time and evaluation of maintenance requests, and measures of the quality and reliability of public services. The company does this by gathering and analyzing this data in real time.
Zencity joined M12’s portfolio after winning the fund’s Innovate.AI global startup competition a search for the most-innovative AI startups. M12 then invested in the startup’s fundraising rounds thereafter to further support the company.
What support does M12 provide?
Feder-Levy says that the connection to Microsoft’s work in Houston, Texas—the fourth-largest city in the United States, boasting 2.4 million residents—is a particularly good example of the benefits of working with M12. “Microsoft already had a strong relationship with Houston,” says Feder-Levy. “We’ve only been joint sales partners with Microsoft for a few months, but because the portfolio development team within M12 recognized us as a relevant partner, capable of supporting the work Microsoft was doing in Houston, we were brought into the conversation.”
The City of Houston was in search of a unified technology platform to handle data collection and analysis with minimal effort. Zencity was the first partner Microsoft turned to in order to address the city’s need.
These connections, established by M12 in collaboration with the Microsoft Smart Cities team were timed to coincide with a heightened readiness to buy on the part of Houston, helping to finalize the deal.
What was the outcome?
In his keynote speech at Microsoft’s IoT in Action event in Houston, the city's mayor specifically expressed his enthusiasm about Zencity. “The fact that the mayor chose Zencity as the city’s partner and that we could deploy our software so quickly and smoothly demonstrated Houston’s strategic thinking about putting data to work, fast,” says Feder-Levy, referring to the two-week deployment.
Houston now uses Zencity to solve data issues. That’s an amazing feat for a young company like ours. The decision to choose Microsoft paid off."