Sustainable Cities

Entrepreneurs seeking to respond to the challenges posed by the sustainability transition can count on Gimv Sustainable Cities as a trusted partner to work together to make this happen.

Header Sustainable Cities

Our broader core infrastructure, such as roads, utility networks or digital infrastructure, is severely outdated and ill-prepared for the energy transition. The need for rapid modernisation is pressing. Meanwhile, the entire supply chain needs to fully commit to reducing its carbon emissions. The demand for innovative products, technologies and services that can help meet these challenges is therefore significant and ongoing. Entrepreneurs and ambitious management teams can rely on Sustainable Cities to work with them to build leading companies that provide solutions to a range of sustainability issues.

A smart deployment of products that enable efficient use of our scarce resources combined with the right professional knowledge, expertise and skills is key to making our economy and society more sustainable. That is exactly what Gimv Sustainable Cities focuses on. Through activities such as quality control and certification, network infrastructure upgrades, mobile cooling and heating systems, installation techniques, water waste reduction, or companies that can help with continued professionalisation and the changes this all entails, our companies are contributing significantly to social and economic sustainability.

Why Gimv Sustainable Cities?

  • Growth
    Buy-and-build, organic growth through international expansion, capacity expansion or strategic partnerships, strategic repositioning, etc.
  • Finance excellence
    Refinancing, reporting & KPI setting, working capital management, etc. 
  • Human capital development
    Board & management capabilities, succession planning, recruitment & retention of 
    service delivering staff, etc.
  • Operational excellence
    Production automation, IT upgrades & digitalisation, trainings, etc.
  • Sustainability maturity
    Decarbonisation, energy efficiency, waste management, etc. 

Investment focus

  • Construction & Infrastructure
    Modernising infrastructure
  • Energy & Environment
    Contributing to the energy transition and reducing the use of natural resources
  • Niche (specialty) chemicals & Recycling
    Sustainable use of materials
  • Logistics, Transport & Mobility
    Decarbonising, multimodalising and making the logistics chain intelligent
  • Professional B2B services
    Making business operations sustainable and professional
Investment criteria Investment criteria Investment criteria

Investment criteria

Ambitious and innovative companies with a solid market position and strong growth potential.
Small to medium-sized companies with capital requirements of EUR 5 to 75 million.
Companies headquartered in the Benelux region, France or DACH countries.
Companies with strong management and a clear corporate vision of social added value.


Building a successful business overseas Building a successful business overseas Building a successful business overseas

Building a successful business overseas

Millions of New Yorkers receive a high-quality bill through the software developed by Ghent-based Itineris!

Why the United States?

Itineris provides integrated business solutions fully focused on power, gas and water distributors and retailers. Internationalisation is therefore a logical consequence of the niche in which the company operates. It is key to think about which markets are best suited for Itineris' products and solutions. 

As a supplier to the larger utilities, a long implementation cycle is an important factor to take into consideration. It is smarter to target one particular market with a lot of potential instead of betting on multiple markets. For Itineris, the large and homogeneous market of the United States was a logical choice. The energy and water sector is highly regulated. So there are big differences per national market. Some of Itineris' software is generic, but a large part of it must also be developed market by market. The choice of the United States meant that Itineris only had to thoroughly adapt their software once.

At the time, Gimv invested in Itineris to help finance its internationalisation to the United States. Such a project fitted perfectly into Gimv's investment philosophy. It was from a strong belief in Itineris' internationalisation potential that Gimv then also took on the role of sparring partner: thinking along with management, looking out for strategic opportunities and helping to set priorities.

Itineris capture
New York skyline

Establishing footprint in the United States

Itineris was able to immediately take important steps forward in the United States with the acquisition of Crimson Oak, a consultancy with a focus on the utility sector. Itineris quickly reached a certain critical mass. Trade-offs about local anchorage, culture, identity and size are essential strategic considerations in any internationalisation trajectory.

To win contracts in America, it is important to be able to present oneself as an American company. 'Americans buy from Americans'. Itineris first had to build a necessary credibility with good references. The company approached this systematically and step by step: starting with smaller cities and then growing to larger clients. Itineris won the water contract for Baltimore as its first major customer in 2014, followed by Boston in 2017. New York then followed in April 2019 after a long negotiation process that took more than two years. That was a really big project for Itineris, a 'transformational gamechanger'. Both investors and directors were great supporters for this business opportunity.

Since then, Itineris has continued this intense business development with landmark leads in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom and continental Europe.

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