Today, Flash Forest, a Canadian reforestation company that uses drones and technology to regenerate post-wildfire areas that are deemed too unsafe for human tree planters, announced the completion of an $11.4 million (CAD) Series A financing round. Climate change is accelerating the frequency and severity of wildfires and we are quickly losing one of our best mechanisms for combating it: trees. Earth loses an average of 26 million hectares of trees every single year. That’s an area roughly the size of Mexico, lost annually. Over 30 per cent of this loss can be attributed to wildfires. This new investment, co-led by the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good and OurCrowd, will support the development and expansion of Flash Forest’s rapid post-wildfire reforestation solution through North America in the fight against climate change.
Despite the growing need for reforestation, tree planting is still largely executed by hand and shovel, a method that is laborious, difficult, and faces challenges in terrain with limited accessibility. This investment will contribute to automate the resource-intensive practice by planting trees three times cheaper and five times faster than conventional hand and shovel methods while also being able to service wildfire impacted areas that can not be easily addressed by conventional methods.
“With this investment by the TELUS Pollinator Fund, Flash Forest is partnering with a significant social impact fund, that doesn’t simply act with a profit-first mindset like many VCs, but clearly identifies with and supports our mission of 1B trees and beyond to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss. This makes a difference, especially in challenging times, where our clear alignment on the execution of the mission comes before all else,” said Bryce Jones, Flash Forest’s CEO and co-founder. “In addition to TELUS’ environmental leadership and steadfast commitment to becoming a zero waste and net carbon neutral company by 2030, there’s enormous internal resources and support that make this an extremely exciting and mutual partnership. We’re ready to dive in and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Multi-year commercial agreement to accelerate reforestation
Flash Forest has also entered into a multi-year commercial agreement with the TELUS Sustainability & Environment team to provide drone planted trees for their customers. Through this partnership, TELUS will offer Flash Forest’s technology to help businesses from various industries achieve their own environmental goals with end-to-end digital forestry solutions, leveraging TELUS world-leading networks and remote connectivity technologies.
“Climate change is one of the world’s most critical challenges, and more frequent, severe wildfires are a symptom of an overheating planet,” said Blair Miller, Managing Partner, TELUS Pollinator Fund. “By investing in Flash Forest, we can efficiently and safely increase reforestation after wildfires. It’s a perfect fit with the TELUS Pollinator Fund, as we are uniquely positioned to unlock the capabilities of TELUS to further scale sustainable solutions that address some of the world’s most pressing social challenges.”
“The world has lost over 1 trillion trees in the last 100 years and wildfires have been taking a growing part in that. We are excited to join forces with Flash Forest on their mission and to co-lead this round with the TELUS Pollinator Fund supporting rapid post-wildfire reforestation that is so needed to fight climate change,” said Liat Sverdlov, Investment Partner at OurCrowd.
About Flash Forest
Canadian drone reforestation company Flash Forest prioritizes a data-driven, biodiversity-centric, and community-led approach to rebuilding healthy resilient forests at scale. By leveraging drone, AI, GIS, and plant science technology, they bring new levels of accuracy, precision and speed to the reforestation industry. Working to reforest post-wildfire areas that are deemed too unsafe for human tree planters, their work seeks to address the growing effects of climate change through nature-based solutions.
About the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good
The $100 million TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good is one of the world’s largest corporate social impact funds, and focuses its investments on for-profit companies and founders committed to driving social innovation. The TELUS Pollinator Fund is an extension of TELUS’ long-standing commitment to leveraging the power of technology to drive positive social and environmental outcomes for all Canadians by funding the development of solutions for transforming healthcare, caring for our planet, supporting responsible agriculture and enabling inclusive communities. To learn more about the TELUS Pollinator Fund, please visit: telus.com/pollinator.
OurCrowd is the online global venture investing platform that empowers institutions and individual accredited investors to invest and engage in emerging technology companies at an early stage. Acclaimed by PitchBook* and Startup Nation Central as the most active venture investor in Israel, OurCrowd vets and selects companies across all sectors and stages, invests its own capital, and provides its global platform of over 220,000 registered members from 195 countries with unparalleled access and freedom to co-invest from as little as $10,000 in the companies and funds of their choice.
Founded by CEO Jon Medved in 2013 with the vision of democratizing world-class venture capital investing, OurCrowd has grown rapidly into the world’s leading online venture investing platform and as of 2023 has over $2.1B in commitments, and deployed capital into 380 portfolio companies and 42 funds across five continents. To date, OurCrowd’s startups have recorded 61 exits including several public market listings: Beyond Meat (BYND), Lemonade (LMND), Innoviz (INVZ), Hub Security (HUB), Arbe (ARBE), Alpha Tau (DRTS), Freightos (CRGO); and numerous high-profile acquisitions: JUMP by Uber, BriefCam by Canon, Argus by Continental, Crosswise by Oracle, Replay by Intel, Corephotonics by Samsung, CyberX by Microsoft, and Kenna Security by Cisco.
OurCrowd builds value for its portfolio companies throughout their lifecycles, providing mentorship, recruiting industry advisors, navigating follow-on rounds and creating growth opportunities through its network of multinational partnerships.
*Every year since 2013