Wildfires continue to ravage large sections of the continental United States, as well as other countries around the world. Startup Firemaps is using a combination of modern technology, including satellite imagery, drones and machine learning, to fortify homes against flames.
Landing of new funds
The proptech business recently announced that their company successfully raised $ 5.5 million in new funding from initial investors. Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz led the seed funding round for the startup. Additional support for Firemaps was bolstered by investors, including Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Lee Fixel of New York-based venture capital firm Addition.
“The Firemaps team is well equipped to scale their offering into new markets and other climate change issues, such as flooding and storm reinforcement, and I am optimistic about the impact their technology will have,” said Andrew Chen, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. .
The latest funding will help the proptech startup scale its business and continue to develop its platform. Currently, the company is offering its full services to homeowners in California, although consumers living in out-of-state areas can request a free risk business consultation.
Hardening of houses to forest fires
After being founded earlier this year, the proptech business has developed a platform that allows users to quickly and easily identify the ways they can make their homes more resistant to wildfires. Firemaps employ a variety of modern technology to detect areas for improvement.
Users looking to toughen their homes against wildfires simply have to register with the startup and request a virtual consultation. The proptech business then uses satellite imagery and machine learning to determine if the home is in a high-risk area.
Homes that are considered at risk are mapped in 3D using a drone. Inspecting the home allows the proptech startup to suggest a variety of improvements, such as embers free zones, embers resistant vents and gutters, and fire protection on the roof. Finally, Firemaps allows qualified contractors to bid on chosen hardening projects and dispatches construction crews as needed to complete work and perform maintenance.
“As we speak, there are record wildfires throughout the western half of the United States, as well as in France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Russia and in Canada,” said Jahan Khanna, CEO of the startup business. “Wildfire season is now year-round. We created the Firemaps platform as a way to deal with the effects of climate change for the people who have to live with it.”
Address a growing need
The proptech business is tackling a growing global problem. While wildfires are often a natural phenomenon, they have become increasingly destructive and intense in recent years due to climate change. As such, the economic impact of wildfires has also grown substantially.
According to Risk Management Solutions, between $ 7 and $ 13 billion of insured losses resulted from wildfires in the western United States during 2020. Additionally, a study by the California Council on Science and Technology suggests that current methodologies used to calculate forest fire losses do not yet account for other damages associated with these types of natural disasters. Some of these include the impact on health and the loss of ecosystem services. Startups like Firemaps will help minimize future damage.