Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Blue Sky Analytics Closes US$1.2M Seed Funding; BEENEXT, Zerodha and Stanford Alums Pitch In

blue sky analytics

Blue Sky Analytics is Zerodha’s first climate-tech portfolio company

 

By Sharon Lewis

 

India-based environmental intelligence startup Blue Sky Analytics (BSA) has raised US$1.2 million in its seed funding round, the company announced via a statement on its official blog.

 

The round was led by BEENEXT’s Emerging Asia Fund, with participation from Indian stock broker Zerodha’s fintech fund and incubator Rainmatter Capital and Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs, a network of Stanford graduates.

 

The funding marks Zerodha’s first climate tech investment, Zerodha Founder and CEO Nithin Kamath said in the statement.

 

BSA uses a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), satellite data and cloud computing to source and make available eco-data points such as air quality, water pollution, heat index, flood risk, the statement noted.

 

The startup is currently working on a forest and farm fire management system called Zuri, it added.

 

“Over the last couple of years, there has been an increased focus on geospatial technology,” Founder and Managing Partner, BEENEXT, Teruhide Sato.

 

“There is strong potential in this segment and we see tremendous scope for innovation, especially in a post Covid era where we need to support sustainable solutions,” he added.

 

Earlier this year, the startup was declared the winner of the AI Innovation Prize supported by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Schmidt Future for its solutions, as a part of the MIT Solve 2019 Challenge, the statement said.

 

It also said that the startup had earlier launched its Internet of Things (IoT) product Breezo in 2019, to provide researchers, governments, and private companies with air quality data from across India through application program interfaces (API).

 

BSA was founded in 2018 by siblings Abhilasha Purwar, now BSA’s CEO, and Kshitij Purwar, now BSA’s CTO.

 

The company previously raised pre-seed funding to the tune of $320,000. An earlier statement noted that BSA is backed by angels such as Founder of Chrys Capital, Sequoia India Managing Director Mohit Bhatnagar, Dalberg Partner Gaurav Gupta, and Near CXOs Shobhit Shukla and Rahul Agarwal.

Abhilasha noted in the statement that BSA is geared towards data products that can help quantify climate risk and inform sustainable investment decisions for its customers worldwide.

“The Covid crisis has made it clear how vulnerable our investment portfolios and economic structures are. But this is just the trailer and the real crisis of the decade is climate change,” she added.

 

Climate change continues to be one of the most urgent and complex problems faced by the world. The conversation triggered by Covid-19 on sustainability has linked back to it, since climate change inevitably makes the world more susceptible to an increased risk of disaster.

 

However, investors are taking their time to catch up with climate tech. While the response erstwhile has been lukewarm due to lower returns, anecdotal evidence suggests that the trend may be changing.

 

H‍eader image courtesy of Blue Sky Analytics

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