Dryad Networks secures additional €1.6m funding from ProFIT Brandenburg to accelerate development
Berlin/Eberswalde, Germany – March 10, 2021 – Environmental IoT startup Dryad Networks has secured additional €1.6m funding from ProFIT Brandenburg, a program sponsored by the German state of Brandenburg’s Ministry of Economics, Labor and Energy (MWAE), and backed by the EU fund for Regional Development. Last October, the firm secured seed capital of €1.8m, bringing the total funding now available to €3.4m. This will allow Dryad to accelerate the development of Silvanet, its large-scale IoT network for the ultra-early detection of wildfires.
ProFIT Brandenburg provides non-refundable grants and low-interest loans to small businesses with big ideas that meet strict criteria and are based in Brandenburg state. Dryad will use the additional funding to speed up the product development process, from R&D and testing through to market introduction. The firm expects to begin two proof of concept deployments in Germany and Africa by summer 2021.
Dryad is developing Silvanet to help public and private forest owners monitor, analyze and protect the world’s largest, most remote forests and tackle the devastating impact of wildfires on the environment, wildlife and communities. A commercial business with sustainability and tech for good at its core, its vision is to digitize the forest and help protect and regrow the world’s largest carbon sinks.
Dryad’s Silvanet uses a network of gas sensors for ultra-early detection of wildfires in under 60 minutes – even in remote areas. By contrast, camera and satellite-based solutions can take hours or even days to identify a fire because they rely on the smoke plume developing enough to be detected from a long distance. This makes it more difficult, or even impossible, for fire fighters to contain the outbreak.
The team successfully tested a minimum viable product in a forest in Germany, and has secured ten letters of intent from forest owners in Germany and Africa.
The Silvanet solution comprises:
· Solar-powered sensors that use AI to detect gases emitted from wildfires at the smoldering stage as well as temperature, humidity and air pressure.
· Wireless gateways featuring Dryad’s patent-pending distributed mesh network architecture – an extension to the LoRaWAN open standard for long-range radio IoT networks.
· A cloud-based dashboard to analyze and monitor a wide range of indicators and alert forest managers.
Dryad’s gateways interconnect in a multi-hop mesh network, making it possible to cover very large forests rather than the 12km range typically supported by existing LoRaWAN gateways. This breakthrough technology makes it economically viable to build a communications network for large forests where there is no mobile network coverage. Silvanet border gateways at the edge of the network connect to wireless (LTE/NB-IoT), satellite or wired internet to access the Silvanet cloud platform.
El Shorafa, Head of Innovation at the State of Brandenburg’s Investment Bank (ILB), said: “Dryad is exactly the type of firm this ProFIT-program is designed to support. We were immediately impressed with the team’s experience and expertise, its progress so far, and of course its ambition to digitize forests, combat wildfires, and help protect the natural world.”
Carsten Brinkschulte, CEO and co-founder of Dryad Networks, added: “This funding comes only a few months after we secured seed capital of €1.8million from four investors and underlines the current interest and expected impact of our solution. We are making great strides on the development of our groundbreaking communications architecture and are looking forward to kicking off proofs of concept with two forest owners by the summer.”
About Dryad Networks
Dryad is an environmental IoT startup based in Berlin-Brandenburg. Its mission is to develop a large-scale IoT network that allows public and private forest owners to monitor, analyze and protect the world’s largest, most remote forests. The initial focus is to develop Silvanet, a system for the ultra-early detection of wildfires. Dryad received seed funding of €1.8m and an secured additional €1.6m in grants and low-interest loans from ProFIT Brandenburg.
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