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Dutch startup Overstory nets $25M to mitigate wildfires and power outages with AI

Overstory team
Picture credits: Overstory

Amsterdam-based Overstory, a climate tech startup that leverages AI to mitigate wildfires, protect biodiversity, and help industries make smarter decisions about natural resources, has raised $14 million in Series A round. The funding round was led by B Capital, with participation from The Nature Conservancy, among other top climate-minded investors. With this, the total investment raised by Overstory accounts for $25 million.

The investment will accelerate the company’s development of its global vegetation intelligence platform. 

Solves climate crisis with AI

Improperly maintained vegetation is a major contributor to both power outages and some of the most devastating wildfires. Overstory’s initial focus is to provide electric utility companies with visibility, risk analysis, and optimisation recommendations for vegetation management by applying artificial intelligence to satellite imagery.

Founded by Indra den Bakker, Anniek Schouten, and Roelof Pieters in 2018, Overstory works with mission to help solve the climate crisis by providing tree-level insights about the planet’s vegetation. The company is building technology that mitigates wildfires, protects biodiversity, and helps people make smarter decisions about the available natural resources. Since its debut, Overstory has actively monitored about 2 million acres, and protected $6 billion of utility assets.

Its platform identifies the location, height, health, and species of trees. It then alerts customers where the riskiest trees are and need to be cut down or pruned because they risk growing into or falling onto the power lines.

Overstory has worked with various clients, including Sho-Me Power Electric Cooperative, a US transmission operator. Currently, the company employs a diverse team of 42 members from 12 nationalities.

“Because the specialised AI that we developed integrates with existing data and workflows, our utility customers can immediately spot the areas along their power lines where there are risks of wildfires and outages,” said Indra den Bakker, CEO and Co-founder, Overstory. “We are grateful for the partnership with our investors and look forward to furthering our mission to combat the climate crisis.”

“Utility companies now have an acute problem with the confluence of catastrophic wildfires, extreme weather, power outages and a changing climate. This has forced these providers to adjust the way they work and ultimately take a more data-driven approach,” said Karen Page, General Partner at B Capital. “We are proud to partner with the incredible team at Overstory and support their work to leverage AI and create a safer, more reliable grid.”

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