California-based startup AiDash raises $50m for using satellites to spot wildfire risk

Funding worth $50 million will be used in part to open a European headquarters
An undated image of AiDash team posing for a picture. — X/@aidashinc
An undated image of AiDash team posing for a picture. — X/@aidashinc

California-based startup, AiDash, raised $50 million in new funding in order to open a European headquarters for better utilisation of artificial intelligence (AI) and satellites to spot fire and weather risks on power lines.

The recent funding reflects positively on the efforts of Silicon Valley to create products that help energy companies adapt to climate change.

AiDash uses AI to search satellite images for problems and changes along power utility electric transmission lines, such as where vegetation has grown and whether trees are encroaching on lines.

The technology is also being used to help create surveys for companies facing new biodiversity reporting regulations, such as in the United Kingdom.

"We are beyond thrilled to announce that AiDash has secured $50 million in our Series C funding round, led by @LightrockGlobalThis Series C milestone supercharges our efforts to create a greener, cleaner, safer planet from space," the California-based startup announced on X (formerly named Twitter).

It should be noted that following massive fires that erupted due to power lines and weather events, the power utilities are under pressure to cut risks of forest fires and storm-based outages.

Moreover, at the same time, loads on the grid are likely to rise as electricity displaces fossil fuels in applications such as electric vehicles and home heat pumps.

Data from researcher PitchBook showed that hundreds of startups and small companies offer services and technology aimed at improving forest management, forest fire spotting and response and other wildfire and forest-fire services.

National Grid, an AiDash customer and investor which owns networks in the UK and the United States, said: We have seen measurable improvements in cutting the number and duration of outages since using the system to identify maintenance priorities on its Massachusetts grid.”

AiDash Chief Executive Abhishek Singh, in a press statement, said: "Better tools and technologies are required to manage this growing risk and its potential future impact. Our combination of satellite technology and AI is capable of managing this risk and safeguarding at-risk systems, like those managed by utility companies which often span huge geographical areas. With this funding, we look forward to expanding our reach and bringing the benefits of AiDash to more markets.”

Lightrock led the investment round which included National Grid's National Grid Partners, Schneider Electric-backed SE Ventures, Edison International, Shell Ventures and others.