Climate change and natural capital technology company FLINTpro has raised US$9 million (A$13.5 million) in a Series A as it seeks to accelerate its US growth.
The round was led by Understorey Ventures with new participation from Pollination, Persei Venture and existing investors Ananta-OM and Synovia Capital.
FLINTpro is a groundbreaking software system that integrates and analyzes a range of data and innovative earth sensing methods to measure and manage carbon and natural capital across all land uses including forests, agriculture, grasslands, coastal areas and soils. It is used by finance, government and business leaders to model and understand the probabilities and consequences of land management decisions.
The Canberra startup began life in 2014 as the land use consultancy Mullion Group, founded by Dr Rob Waterworth.
The Eureka Prize-winning scientist is an IPCC author and land monitoring and management expert with a focus on greenhouse gas estimates and policy development.
Be began his career in the 1990s as a young forest ranger in the 1990s, measuring and modeling carbon before moving on to design and build Australia’s national greenhouse gas reporting systems for the land sector in the 2000s.
After building a successful consulting firm and working in developing countries with the Clinton Foundation, he turned to technology to scale that knowledge and developed FLINTpro’s land analysis software, which allows users to assess and report the value of natural resources as they try to tackle climate change. to deal with. and the effects of land use.
“As climate and natural capital reporting becomes mainstream, organizations are discovering that there is no single technology or data source that can meet all of their needs,” said Dr. Waterworth.
“FLINTpro solves this problem by integrating multiple data streams, including soil and biomass best estimates, to simplify reporting on natural capital for carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, water and soil.”
While working in developing countries, Waterworth realized that while there were a lot of great technology companies working in space, using satellites and other systems, not one was putting the information together in a way that helped everyone understand the data,” so we said, let’s we build that”.
From open source to pro
FLINTpro started with an open source platform before taking on Seed investors in 2018.
“They came to us – we weren’t looking for investment – saw what we were doing and said, ‘Okay, that’s great, that’s really unique,'” Waterworth recalls.
“We turned the software into an online platform called Open Pro.”
The new name popped up on a drive through Kenya – he remembers watching the American reality TV show Cheaters.
“FLINT is a full country integration tool,” he explains, adding that the Pro is the commercial version that now sits alongside the open source version of FLINT.
The new capital will be used to support FLINTpro’s global operations and expansion of its customer base after the company moved its headquarters to the US last year.
The company counts the NSW government among its clients, and counts several “sub-national” governments on the front lines of land use among its clients, and while FLINTpro supports clients in the carbon credit market, the commercial opportunity lies around the natural risk reporting coming through financial disclosures and the need to report on scope 123 emissions and take mitigation actions.
“That’s where the market has really exploded,” Dr Waterworth said.
“That need for business and financial reporting – and then when you go to the individual farms, you start looking at those in institutions, so it really depends on scale. Are you looking at a huge organization that has to report or narrow that down to the individual piece of land and the individual farmer working on it?
Most importantly, the platform also offers data integrity to avoid any threat of greenwashing for companies using it.
Understorey director Jordan Soriot, who also sits on the FLINTpro board, said the platform “encourages better integrity reporting and analysis, which is critical to building trust in a growing and complex industry” as the company site grapples with Scope 1 .2 & 3 reporting.
“The technology has tremendous potential to unlock nature-positive outcomes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at scale,” he said.
“FLINTpro’s mission to reveal the value of nature enables organizations to effectively and accurately map and quantify their impact on the land, empowering them to gain greater control over their strategies to meet the increasingly to exceed or exceed more complex and ambitious reporting requirements, stakeholder expectations and emission reduction targets. ”.
Martijn Wilder, Pollination co-founder and CEO said: “We have seen a rapidly increasing demand for technologies that can provide accurate data to support climate and wildlife reporting. Pollination has been working with FLINTpro for many years and sees their potential as a strong market leader in this field.”