Gaia AI raises US$3M for forest data collection service

Friday 3 Feb 2023

Gaia AI has secured a US$3M Pre-Seed to automate the collection of forestry data, verify carbon credits, and build a data platform that empowers foresters to make the best financial and ecological decisions for their forests. This round was led by E14 with participation from Ubiquity Ventures, Space Capital, and SOSV’s HAX.

Gaia AI is adapting LiDAR and computer vision hardware/software from the autonomous vehicle industry into a mobile tool for foresters to automate the collection of high quality below canopy data in forests. Foresters wear Gaia AI’s sensor backpack as they walk through their forests and the backpack automatically collects and characterizes the width, height, species, and density of trees in the forest. This data is combined with existing above canopy data streams on Gaia AI’s cloud platform to give foresters the most accurate depiction of the current state of their forests.

By combining existing data streams and empowering foresters with new tools for data collection, Gaia AI is not only accelerating the data collection processes by over 100x, but also allowing foresters to make the best financial and environmental decisions for how to best manage their land. The forestry industry has recently seen a significant amount of interest from SaaS startups, which have turned to available satellite data to provide additional value to foresters. These collection methodologies lack crucial below canopy data points which provide the most accurate information on a forest. By combining the two, satellite imagery and scaled data collection below the canopy, Gaia AI can unlock the full potential of satellite imagery by using below canopy data as training data for machine learning models.

“Satellites provide a powerful tool for collecting data and understanding our world on a global scale. But satellites have a number of limitations and benefit greatly from complementary data collected by ground sensors. Gaia AI is building a proprietary platform to collect, process, and analyze under-canopy data while leveraging the best in next-generation satellite capabilities” said Justus Kilian, Partner at Space Capital.

This round of investment will be used to expand Gaia AI’s team, deploy their product in pilots with some of the largest timber companies in the world, and add more functionality to their data platform. “We recognize the value and expertise that foresters bring to the forest. Our automated data collection process adds to foresters' existing skill set by seamlessly integrating into their existing workflows. By augmenting a forester's capabilities we are able to help the experts, foresters, make data driven decisions that optimize both carbon impact and financial bottom line” said Peter McHale, Co-Founder and CEO of Gaia AI.

Source: Gaia AI

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