With a mission to bring useful innovation to the forestry industry, Helsinki-based tech startup CollectiveCrunch has recently announced the closure of a €600K funding round led by Finland’s Thominvest, taking the company’s total funding to €1 million. Existing and new angel investors also participated to complete the round. Now, Collective Crunch plans to use the funds to finalise and launch the first commercial version of its Linda Forest platform in the second half of 2019.
The Nordic startup has developed an AI platform dubbed as Linda Forest, which is based on a multi-layered Geo-information System (GIS) solution. In GIS systems many layers of information are stacked upon a geographical grid. Like Google Maps, where satellite images, streets, and local shops are a few of several layers that are placed on a geographical map. In this case, the layers are things like weather information for many years back; soil classifications; optical and other images taken from satellites, LIDAR information and much, much more.
Linda’s analytical approach is focused on identifying interdependencies between layers that influence the growth of trees. The software utilises AI to identify and model the parameters that influence the growth of trees, distribution of species and other characteristics of forest inventory. The output is a prediction of wood mass by species and other parameters critical to forest inventories. While, traditional solutions are cumbersome, time-consuming, expensive, and may have error rates of up to 30%.
In this way, the firm’s state-of-the-art AI-supported technologies help landowners to more accurately assess and manage their forestry inventory and buyers of wood resources to target the wood they actually need.
“We are following developments in AI closely and have been aware of CollectiveCrunch since 2017,” said Thominvest Group’s Mats Söderström. “CollectiveCrunch is focused on the forestry industry and we were convinced by the team’s capabilities and the commercial progress they have made in the last quarters,” he concluded.
“The funds raised in this round are essential in building the team and technical capabilities to fulfill our ambition of becoming a global leader in AI for the forestry industry,” said CollectiveCrunch CEO Rolf Schmitz. “We thank our existing and new investors for their support and faith in our vision,” he concluded.
The round closure follows a recently announced a multi-year partnership with Finland’s Metsähallitus Forestry Ltd. that aims to improve harvesting and forest development planning. The company has offices in Helsinki, Berlin, and Munich, and forestry customers in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, and Brazil.
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