Pioneering smart city design and planning platform, VU.CITY has secured Series A investment from Ramboll. The global engineering and design consultancy joins existing shareholder Grosvenor Hill Ventures, which is the technology investment subsidiary of global real estate advisory firm Savills, and GIA Surveyors to support VU.CITY’s journey to become a global cross-market platform.

Over the last three years, VU.CITY has been helping architects, developers, planners and local authorities across the UK and Ireland make better decisions on the future of our cities with proposed development. This is being achieved through the use of the most accurate, vast and interactive 3D digital city models in the world.

VU.CITY is pioneering collaborative and transparent planning in the rapidly growing “proptech” sector. The multi-million pound investment from Ramboll will support VU.CITY’s ambition to become a “marketplace” for data and solution providers to inform the development of the best possible cities, whilst scaling into new markets, geographies and industry verticals. Ramboll COO Mathew Riley will join the VU.CITY board.

Commenting on the investment, VU.CITY CEO Jamie Holmes said: “We’ve always believed VU.CITY has almost limitless potential in helping create better cities for the future and the investment from Ramboll marks the beginning of the next stage of our growth.

“The ability for us to access Ramboll’s knowledge as designers, engineers, architects and consultants working in cities all over the world will be of huge benefit to our customers. Ramboll also brings a strong innovation portfolio and we are delighted to bring their generative design real estate platform SiteSolve into the VU.CITY marketplace as one of the early contributors.”

Mathew Riley from Ramboll said: “We see city-wide digital twin technologies as a crucial tool to support the development of sustainable and liveable cities. VU.CITY brings incredible transparency to inform crucial decision making. Strong collaboration and co-creation across our industry is critical to developing and scaling innovative solutions to complex challenges. We are excited to partner with the VU.CITY team to accelerate the development of this powerful platform and to bring our domain knowledge and digital expertise to support that journey.”

VU.CITY currently has the whole of London modelled to 15 cm accuracy, and 90% of boroughs using the platform. With 22 further towns and cities also modelled, local authorities, developers, architects and planners are using VU.CITY to provide accurate, visual information and analysis to inform better decision making.

Simon Shaw, Chairman Grosvenor Hill Ventures: “Having supported and worked with VU.CITY since inception, it has been exciting to witness progressive evolution towards becoming the platform for all participants within the planning and development lifecycle. This investment by Ramboll is not only an endorsement of VU.CITY being the leading smart city platform, but also provides the capital to further accelerate expansion into regional cities across the UK, and other new markets.”

Jamie Holmes concludes: “It’s been a challenging, but rewarding adventure for the whole team at VU.CITY as we’ve sought to push widespread adoption in the property industry. We see significant appetite from all corners of industry and the public sector – proving this scalability will position us for further investment and growth.”