According to a new analysis, Santa Monica ranks #2 amongst US cities for sustainability startup funding, with an average of $154.3million raised. Salt Lake City took the number one spot with $204.6million. The research was conducted by Promoleaf, a Utah-based advertising service company using data collected by the US Census Bureau and Crunchbase, a privately-owned business research institute.
This was just one of a number of categories considered in order to gauge and identify the top cities for green businesses and which ones are leading the way in renewable energy, environmental engineering and recycling. It measured how successful sustainability companies were in each city by looking at the amount of investment they attracted.
Across the US, sustainability startups have raised at least $134 billion in funding and the state of California has 10.3 sustainability startups per 100,000 residents. Santa Monica itself has 48.50 sustainability startups per 100,000 residents, according to the report, which actually placed the city seventh out of 10 cities.
Crunchbase says 21,653 startups are working in one of the industries under the umbrella of sustainability in the United States. In the context of this report, the research company defines a startup as a privately owned business that isn’t trading on the stock market, has a $50 million revenue run rate, 100 or more employees, a valuation of more than $500 million and includes companies working in five broad strands of sustainability: renewable energy, environmental engineering and green consumer goods.
“What we’re seeing more of is an increasing number of companies and cities that are prioritizing sustainability,” said Tyler Bethke, PromoLeaf’s CFO, and co-researcher of the report. “It isn’t an initiative of any one company, it’s much more of a nationwide priority that’s increasing over time.”
“The We Are Santa Monica Fund promotes investing in the health and sustainability of the community. Santa Monica definitely looks at itself as a kind of hub for the mobility sector and electric vehicles and trying to become carbon neutral. So, when a community or city has a lot of these initiatives that they’re trying to push, it puts them in a situation where, especially for startups, it’s a good place to be.”
Santa Monica-based startups that were factored into the research, include Cypress Creek Renewables, UE Renewables, Swell Energy, SolarReserve – which has since closed – and Inspire Clean Energy.
However, while Santa Monica scored well in one or two categories, it fell behind the curve somewhat in others. Under the category of “number of companies in recycling, waste management and pollution control,” Sarasota, Florida topped the list with 20.3 such companies per 100,000 people, while Santa Monica placed 15th with a score of just 10.8 companies per 100,000 people.