Sensing a market opportunity, Indianapolis-based HG Ventures is pressing the accelerator on its search for promising “future of roads” technologies in which it might invest.
And as part of that strategy, HG Ventures this week released a report in which it outlines how technology could solve long-standing issues such as traffic congestion, safety and sustainability.
HG Ventures is the venture investing arm of Indianapolis-based The Heritage Group, whose portfolio of companies specializes in construction, materials, environmental services and specialty chemicals.
Established in 2018, HG Ventures has invested to date in more than 30 companies. Its investment focus is on areas such as energy, sustainable materials, water, infrastructure and the circular economy—the concept of reusing and recycling materials rather than disposing of them.
A handful of those 30-plus portfolio companies is focused on roads, including: Israel-based Valerann, which offers a traffic-management platform for road operators and traffic authorities; Germany-based Bind-X, which has developed a sustainable material that can be used in road construction; and Indianapolis-based Avenew, which helps local governments manage their road and bridge infrastructure.
HG Ventures is actively looking to make additional investments because it sees road tech as an emerging area of opportunity, said John Glushik, managing director of HG Ventures.
“We’re reacting to the market. We’re reacting to what we see as the big issues out there,” he said.
The investment group’s newly issued report is called “The Future of Roads: The Role of Technology in Securing Vital Infrastructure.” In it, HG Ventures highlights some of the technologies it believes hold promise for modernizing the nation’s 4 million miles of roadways. Those technologies include things like next-generation road construction materials, sensors that would allow for real-time data sharing, roads that are embedded with electrification technologies, and more.
Glushik said HG Ventures will use the report as an outreach tool to entrepreneurs, companies and organizations, in the hope of opening the door to potential partnerships and investment opportunities.
“This is a conduit for them to hopefully be aware that we are really interested in what they’re doing,” Glushik said. “We believe there are great ideas out there—there are a wealth of technologies.”
The report was only released on Monday, but Glushik said it’s already generating positive results.
He said that within 24 hours of the report’s release, “I had multiple emails and contacts from entrepreneurs who have what they believe are good solutions in this space, with innovations that can solve some of these challenges. And we’re very very excited to work with them.”
You can find a link to the report here.