Dendra raises $10M Series A led by Airbus Ventures

Today is a good day for our climate and planet. Smart ecosystem restoration plays a key role in our global effort to minimise climate change and accelerate the transformation to a low carbon economy. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to automate ecosystem restoration by bringing together plant science, AI, drones and human creativity to decrease the costs and increase the accountability of biological carbon sequestration. Our Ecosummit angel portfolio company Dendra Systems raises $10M (€8.4M) Series A from Airbus Ventures, At One Ventures, Future Positive Capital and Lowercarbon Capital. Nicole Conner (Airbus Ventures) and Tom Chi (At One Ventures) join the board to support CEO and Co-Founder Susan Graham and her diverse team of ecologists and technologists in building a big startup with big impact.

Oxford-based Dendra was founded in 2014 with the simple idea to plant trees with drones. It took the founders a while to find product-market fit by pivoting the smart green startup to paying customers, in Dendra’s case the mining industry in Australia. It turns out that natural resources companies exploiting metals, minerals, coal, oil and gas nowadays take sustainability very seriously and have adopted comprehensive sustainability strategies. They often hire service providers to help them restore and rehabilitate land that was degraded during mining operations. In fact, in most countries there are laws that demand ex-post ecosystem restoration. Driven by customers including BHP, Glencore, Rio Tinto and Yancoal Dendra developed an end-to-end solution including machine learning and aerial seeding for scalable ecosystem restoration and already carried out 38 projects in 11 countries. The new funds will be used to hire new talent, further develop the product and enter new markets and industries.

Dendra’s patented technology captures high resolution data and applies ecology-trained artificial intelligence to map and assess degraded land. Leveraging this data, precise restoration plans for every site’s unique ecological conditions are created and executed. Utilising customised drones, Dendra is able to plant 120 seeds a minute per drone at scale — 150 times faster than traditional manual planting methods. Afterwards, Dendra continues to collect data and analyse plant growth to predict where future work will be needed, ensure full restoration and quantify carbon capture without the costs or risks of putting human workers into the field.

We’re very happy and proud to be among Dendra’s smart green investors and believe that this startup is going to make a big difference for our future. Get in touch with Susan and her team if you want to invest in their next round to generate environmental, financial and strategic returns, work for Dendra to change the world yourself or become a customer to automate your sustainability. The time to act is now.

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