Dryad raises €10.5m to warn of wildfires

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Berlin startup Dryad has raised €10.5m to roll out its solar-powered environmental sensor networks for wildfire detection and forest monitoring.

The Series A round was led by German venture capital fund eCAPITAL and additional investors, including chip maker Semtech, Toba Capital and Marc Benioff’s TIME Ventures.

The funding will enable the company to scale its team and accelerate its go-to-market strategy affter pilot trials. Dryad has spent more than two years and €4m developing its end-to-end Silvanet early wildfire detection and forest monitoring system, which incorporates low-cost sensors, solar-powered LoRa based mesh networking infrastructure and a cloud analytics platform.

Wildfires have become a major driver of climate change, generating up to 20% of global CO2 emissions while costing the global economy approximately US$140 billion to date. The increasing frequency and severity of fire outbreaks mean new technology is urgently needed to provide real-time wildfire warnings, enable firefighters to stop a blaze before it gets out of control, and prevent further damage to our planet.

The round follows a €1.8 equity seed round from STIHL Digital, the venture capital arm of the famous chainsaw manufacturing company STIHL.

 “Closing €10.5m in our Series A is a humbling and gratifying endorsement of our value proposition. With high levels of funding secured, and industry expertise to support us, we’ll not only be able to further scale our team and provide critical ultra-early detection, but also open the forestry market to Internet of Things (IoT) applications,” said Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO of Dryad.

Dr. Paul-Josef Patt, CEO, eCAPITAL, said: “Wildfires represent a huge global problem that has not been resolved effectively for too long. With Dryad’s highly scalable technology, we believe that from now on wildfires will be detected before they can cause damage. We are excited to lead Dryad’s Series A Financing Round and, together with our co-investors, support the company on its mission to save millions of hectares of forest, significantly reduce the threat for humans and animals and avoid the emission of over a billion tonnes of CO2.”

Semtech is a key supplier to the company and now investor. “We are extremely pleased to support Dryad’s mission to reduce CO2 emissions and protect forests around the world using LoRa low power, long range RF technology. We believe that technology solutions like Dryad’s environmental sensor networks are crucial to creating a smarter, more sustainable planet,” said Alistair Fulton, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group.

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