Restoring forests as a service: Vibrant Planet secures a $17 million seed round

The 2018 California wildfire season was a watershed moment for Allison Wolff’s career. Over the course of that record-breaking year, she developed a proclivity for probing inquiries.

With the Carr Fire burning in the middle of 2018, Wolff stated it was the worst fire season he had ever seen. There were so many questions to answer, so many experts to consult: climate scientists and land managers and utility executives and insurance executives. Why is this occurring so catastrophically?” What are the prospects for the future? Is there anything we can do about it?”

Vibrant Planet, a public-benefit firm that is creating Land Tender, was formed out of those conversations. “Operating system for forest restoration” is simply SaaS for forest management.

Ecosystem Integrity Fund and The Jeremy & Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust have led a $17 million seed round for Vibrant Planet as the American West prepares for another wildfire season.

Wolff stated, “I soon understood this is a climate concern.” Even if the climate remained consistent, we would still be losing a lot of forest due to poor land management. Climate change, on the other hand, is a major contributor to the problem.

In order to help humans survive climate change, “we only need to do this—we need to rebuild trees quicker, and they could make it through climate change.”

Other investors in the round included Valia, Earthshot Ventures, Cisco, and Halogen Ventures (which is supported by Laurene Powell Jobs and Tom Steyer). Chris Cox, former chief product officer of Meta, and Neil Hunt, former chief product officer of Netflix, have previously backed the firm.

A lidar map of California is the centrepiece of Vibrant Planet’s collection of data sets. Lidar is an invaluable tool for 3D forest mapping and assessing fire danger, but it is not a silver bullet. It’s difficult to map dense woods, which frequently pose the highest danger of fire, from top to bottom, therefore a machine-learning system has been taught to fill in any gaps.

For the sake of cost, the corporation employs an artificial intelligence technology to maintain its lidar up-to-date. Note that this is just theoretical, since no matter what police procedurals say about how accurate the data supplied by AI technologies is, it can never be said to be “enhanced.”