Investors rally to wildfires
Record-setting wildfires are stoking a surge in deal-making.
Why it matters: Soot-covered homeowners, local governments and wildland firefighters are clamoring for tech to predict and contain blazes.
Driving the news: Vibrant Planet, a software developer for land management, acquired wildfire analysis and modeling provider Pyrologix for cash and stock, the companies tell Axios.
- The deal closed June 30. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Details: Vibrant's investors include Day One Ventures, Cthulhu Ventures, Earthshot Ventures, Elemental Excelerator and Halogen Ventures, per PitchBook.
- Pyrologix, based in Missoula, Montana, was bootstrapped, founder Joe Scott tells Axios.
Zoom in: Vibrant Planet, based in Incline Village, Nevada, near fire-prone Lake Tahoe, had built expertise in flood and drought resilience.
- As the chart above shows, the ferocity of climate-fueled wildfires has unleashed a wave of capital — both from investors and from customers.
- "Just in the last year, the attention and amount of federal and private solutions going into wildfire is mind-blowing," Vibrant Planet CEO Allison Wolff tells Axios.
State of play: Other recent wildfire deals include Frontline Wildfire Defense's $6.4 million seed round for sensors and smart-sprinklers, Pano's $17 million Series A extension for detection tech, and miner Compasss Minerals' acquisition of eco-friendly fire suppressant developer Fortress.
Plus: Xprize in April announced an $11 million competition for wildfire tech.
- And investor Bill Clerico's venture firm, Convective Capital, last year raised $35 million to exclusively focus on wildfires.
Be smart: The bulk of wildfire startups seem to be concentrated in sensing and prediction — less so on physical management.
- “I think what we do see is overcrowding in certain areas and lack of focus in other areas,” Clerico recently told Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva.
Go deeper: Disaster investing, wildfire edition