Gridware Raises $5.3 Million In Seed Round For Its Tech To Eliminate Suburban Wildfires
Gridware, the California-based wildfire prevention technology company, has announced that it raised $5.3 million in a seed round. The funding round was led by Fifty Years and True Ventures with investment also coming from Y-Combinator, SOMA Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, and Anorak Ventures, plus other funds and angel investors.
The mission of Gridware is tremendous and prescient: to eradicate suburban wildfires. The company does this by producing a box filled with sensor technology that can be attached to power poles. The box contains sensors to monitor the ambient environment, such as microphones and other sensors, which generate data that can be processed by on-board AI and Machine Learning. Irregularities in this data can then be reported to the relevant agencies or persons to enable responses that can mitigate the impact of wildfires.
The frequency and severity of wildfires has greatly increased as a result of climate change. Many states across the US have experienced record-breaking wildfires in recent years. The fire season is now more destructive and deadlier than ever, with many people losing their homes and livelihoods. The ongoing impact of climate change is likely to make suburban wildfires even worse, so mitigating their impact is a critical task. Gridware will use the funds from the round to step up its engineering and R&D operations and to grow its utility partnership network.
In a statement, Priscilla Tyler of True Ventures explained the rationale for investing in Gridware: “We’re investing in an increasing number of climate technologies that not only help to set the path for an environmentally conscious future but also help to reduce risk for humanity in the immediate term. Gridware’s technology is focused on a problem we have a responsibility to solve. It has the potential to be hugely impactful in reducing rampant wildfires, and the company aligns keenly with our experience of investing in SaaS-enabled hardware.”
Shuo Yang of Fifty Years also emphasized their reasons for backing the company. “It’s clear to us that Gridware has the perfect solution for the wildfire crisis. They understand the need to not only reduce fire risk, but also solve the fundamental problem with how we maintain and inspect our aging power infrastructure. This is a team that has not only deep technical experience, but also practical, personal understanding of what it’s like to be out there maintaining utility poles. They can work with all parties and help solve this problem.”
Featured image courtesy Gridware