The ecosystem restoration startup raises $10 million in Series A funding to rehabilitate land through AI, analytics and drones
New York, NY (September 16, 2020) — Today Dendra Systems, an ecosystem restoration company, announces $10M in new investments to help the company expand the first scalable, effective solution for restoring biodiverse ecosystems to global markets. With land degradation counting as one of the biggest contributors to climate change, accounting for at least 23 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, Dendra combines AI, drone technology and deep ecological expertise to help rehabilitate land and restore biodiverse ecosystems at scale for Fortune 500 companies across regulated industries.
As the link between the destruction of ecosystems, climate change and global health – including the current COVID-19 pandemic – becomes increasingly clear, companies and investors are eager for solutions that can facilitate private sector leadership on these issues.
Dendra is the only end-to-end solution partnering with companies that have a direct economic imperative to drive environmental change. Unlike trendy efforts to plant trees without regard to the whole ecosystem needed to sustain growth and measurably capture carbon, Dendra uses hard earned expertise in ecology to rebuild whole ecosystems.
“By now, we have all recognized the urgency of climate change and the impact of global land degradation—from frequent flooding, costly wildfires, deforestation and the loss of biodiversity devastating ecosystems across the world. We need hands across all industries to fight back if we are going to make a dent on climate change and it starts with restoring our degraded ecosystems and lands,”
said Susan Graham, Chief Executive Officer of Dendra.
Dendra customer Glencore is one of the world’s largest globally diversified natural resource companies.
“Glencore has been working with Dendra Systems since 2018 to accelerate land rehabilitation at mine sites. Unlike common restoration projects, the specific features of the land and risks posed by working at mining sites limit both the speed and scalability of traditional restoration methods,” said Lucy Roberts, Corporate Head HSEC and Human Rights. “Dendra helps Glencore overcome these challenges by providing unprecedented insights into the condition of the land and ecosystems using ecology-driven data science and artificial intelligence. Complemented by drone-based aerial seeding which increases the rate of planting and mitigates on-site risks. Together, Glencore and Dendra are restoring thriving ecosystems.”
Dendra’s patented technology uses ultra high resolution data capture and ecology-trained artificial intelligence to map and assess degraded land. Leveraging this data, Dendra creates precise restoration plans for every site’s unique ecological conditions. Finally, utilizing their customized drones, Dendra plants 120 seeds a minute per drone at scale—150 times faster than traditional manual planting methods. The company continues to collect data and run analytics against progress to predict where future work will be needed, ensure full restoration, and put numbers on carbon capture without either the cost or risks of putting physical boots on the ground. Dendra partners with its customers to drive restoration from first seed to last tree.
With growing interest among the private sector in carbon-reducing solutions, Dendra’s $10 million Series A funding round is led by At One Ventures, Airbus Ventures, Future Positive Capital, and Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital. Tom Chi, Founding Partner of At One Ventures, and Nicole Conner, Partner at Airbus Ventures will join the board of directors. This funding will help the company expand its global presence, with a goal of developing new projects in the North American markets.
“Dendra is by far the world’s most advanced tech for large-scale ecosystem restoration. Their work is an essential to a future where we dramatically reduce the cost to restore ecosystems and enable accountable biological carbon sequestration,” said Tom Chi, Founding Partner at At One Ventures. “These advancements will help governments and large NGOs meet their climate goals, and have already helped heavy industry with mission-critical restoration goals.”
“At Airbus Ventures, we’re always looking to invest in new, forward-looking Teams and Technologies that advance the planetary systems defining Z-Space: discovering coherence in the mix of all the interconnected, multi-dimensional elements from the ground to deep space — and helping amplify that coherence toward building a more sustainable future for all of us,” said Thomas d’Halluin, Managing Partner at Airbus Ventures. Adds Airbus Ventures Partner Nicole Conner, “In the face of the intensifying system forces of climate change, Susan and the Dendra team are exceptional in their approach to machine learning and aerial seeding and we’re proud to help scale their technology to restore degraded ecosystems worldwide.”
“We invested in Dendra because of its unique combination of advanced technologies and deep ecological expertise, which is required to restore our complex natural ecosystems,” said Alexandre Terrien, General Partner at Future Positive Capital. “Dendra’s focus on building healthy ecosystems by emphasizing biodiversity stands out in the market and gives the company an edge as restoration efforts become increasingly essential to human, planetary and economic survival.
“With Dendra’s combination of observations, analytics and automation, for the first time, companies can have comprehensive insight into the health of the land they manage and create and execute detailed, reportable plans for repairing environmental damage,” said Kelly Wanser, Executive Director of SilverLining and Board Director of Dendra. “At a time when companies are committing to sustainability more than ever, Dendra helps counter the effects of climate change, improve biodiversity and capture CO2 in a cost-effective, actionable new way, providing the scale and effectiveness required to restore our ecosystems not in generations to come but within our own lifetimes.”
“Dendra’s forest-patrolling drones are one of the most promising technologies for sucking carbon out of the atmosphere,” said Clay Dumas, Partner at Lowercarbon Capital and former aide in the Obama White House. “Whether you’re a regulated industry that has to restore mines or conservationists reviving some of the planet’s most critical ecosystems, Dendra’s platform provides the highest fidelity ecological data out there to speed up reforestation.”
An ecosystem restoration company, Dendra leverages ecology, data analytics, AI/machine learning and drone technology to rehabilitate land and restore biodiverse ecosystems at scale for Fortune 500 companies across regulated industries.
Backed by new investments from Airbus Ventures, At One Ventures, Future Positive Capital, Chris Sacca’s LowerCarbon Capital, Lionheart VC, SYSTEMIQ, and Venture Souq, Dendra recently announced $10M in Series A funding in September and is leading the charge to accelerate the fight against climate change, already helping leading companies BHP, Glencore and Rio Tinto, among others, restore degraded land and ecosystems.
About At One Ventures
At One Ventures finds, funds, and grows teams to catalyze a world where humanity is a net positive to nature. We back early-stage companies that are using disruptive deep tech to upend the unit economics of established industries while dramatically reducing their planetary footprint. We also look for companies that are pioneering new industries that are actively regenerative to planetary health. Lastly, we look for companies that have significant potential to be healthy, scalable businesses, because the positive impacts we invest in only lasts as long as the businesses that carry them.
About Airbus Ventures
Headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Paris and Tokyo, Airbus Ventures is a fast-moving, early-stage venture capital company that independently funds and supports start-ups impacting the aerospace industry. Z in the sense of realising fully three-dimensional challenges, Z in the sense of achieving a full ascent of the vertical axis from ground to deep space, Z in the sense of helping our portfolio companies to master: x) the intersection of successive diligence wins, y) ever-more connected opportunities, and z) final ascension to achieving both vision and successful exit – an exit to achievements in wealth as well as a literal ascension beyond gravity.
We believe it is no accident that more than half of the species on Earth fly – it is the most successful adaptation this planet has known, and now it is humanity’s turn to ascend into Z-space. At Airbus Ventures, we believe that together with our entrepreneurs, we can capture and build on the value of challenging Z-space to engage adaptive innovations, maximize system impacts, and leverage Airbus’ unparalleled global capabilities.
About Future Positive Capital
Future Positive Capital is a pan-European venture capital firm built to back companies that define the technology-sustainability revolution as it scales to all sectors of the global economy. The fund will invest up to €100m in early stage companies that use advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and genetics to solve massive global needs like combating climate change, feeding the world’s population sustainably and serving our ageing population.
About Lowercarbon Capital
Lowercarbon Capital backs technology to bring down atmospheric CO2 before the Earth gets too hot. We invest in mind-blowing companies to slash CO2 emissions, suck carbon from the atmosphere, and buy more time to heal the planet.