Pano has a burning desire to apply AI intelligence to wildfire detection • TechCrunch

As the weather turns hot and dry, things get a bit tense these days. While it’s possible for humans to be on the lookout for fires (there are even organizations that facilitate volunteering), one of the big challenges is that technology is often lacking; by the time technology detects a fire, it is already well on its way to spiraling out of control. Pano combines smart cameras with AI technology to give fire crews a chance to keep things as quiet as possible.

Pano AI offers a fully managed solution that combines advanced hardware, artificial intelligence, and easy-to-use cloud-based software to provide fire departments with actionable intelligence and up-to-the-minute situational awareness. This helps first responders get to the scene faster and safely – with the right equipment, the latest information and improved coordination – so they can stop a new ignition in its tracks.

“The climate crisis is happening now and humanity must start adapting today. At Pano AI, we strive to be pioneers in the field of climate change adaptation to help society cope with the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters. We are the first company to offer a fully managed solution that offers active wildfire detection using artificial intelligence,” said Sonia Kastner, CEO and Founder of Pano AI, in an interview with TechCrunch. “This investment will accelerate the geographic reach of Pano’s AI solution, allowing us to protect more communities from these climate-caused emergencies. We are grateful for the support of our investors at this critical time as we face increasingly dangerous fire seasons around the world. »

Kastner moved to California in 2007, where she worked in the solar industry and later helped build a number of companies, including spending time at Nest, developing the first AI-powered Nest Cam.

“Our Series A lead is Initialized Capital, known for backing transformative companies that are often the pioneers in their industries. Kim-Mai Cutler, partner at Initialized Capital, will also join our board. It has been phenomenal to work with Initialized as they share our values ​​and deeply understand Pano AI’s mission,” said Kastner. His company raised $20 million at a post-money valuation of $90 million. Prior to the current round, it raised $8 million in convertible notes. “This investment demonstrates that anchor investors understand the climate crisis and believe that AI and technology-driven solutions will play a critical role in helping society adapt.”

Sonia Kastner holds the Pano Station camera

Pano CEO Sonia Kastner holds one of the Pano station cameras. Picture credits: panoramic

The company told me that its mission is to accelerate global resilience to the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters.

“Over the next decade, I envision our disaster mitigation solutions will help tackle the climate crisis by reversing the catastrophic trend of wildfires and providing intelligence to respond aggressively to other types of disasters,” Kastner said. “We are proud of the progress made over the past two years; we now monitor 4.5 million acres and have had over 1,000 detections this year. However, many important politicians and decision makers still do not understand that the technology to mitigate wildfires exists today – it is ready to be deployed without additional R&D.

In the two years since its inception, Pano AI has been deployed to utility companies, governments, fire departments, forestry companies, and other private landowners. Pano AI operates in five US states (California, Colorado, Oregon, Idaho and Montana) and two Australian states (New South Wales and Queensland).

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