Climate and ag tech startup FlintPro plants $13.5 million Series A

- May 23, 2023 3 MIN READ
FLINTpro founder Dr Rob Waterworth
Climate change and natural capital technology company FLINTpro has raised US$9 million (A$13.5m) in a Series A as it looks to ramp up its US growth.

The round was led by Understorey Ventures with new participation from Pollination, Persei Venture and existing investors Ananta-OM and Synovia Capital.

FLINTpro is a pioneering software system that integrates and analyses a range of data and innovative earth-sensing methodologies to measure and manage carbon and natural capital across all land uses including forests, agriculture, grasslands, coastal areas, and soils. It’s used by finance, government, and business leaders to model and understand the opportunities and impacts of land management decisions.

The Canberra startup began life in 2014 as the land use consultancy firm Mullion Group, founded by Dr Rob Waterworth.

The Eureka Prize winning scientist is an an IPCC author and expert on land monitoring and management with a focus on greenhouse gas estimation and policy development.

Be began his career in the 90s as a young forester in the 90s, measuring and modelling carbon before working on designing and building Australia’s national greenhouse gas reporting systems for the land sector in the 2000s.

After building a successful consultancy business, working in developing countries with the Clinton Foundation,  he turned to technology to scale that knowledge, developing FLINTpro’s land analysis software, which allows users to assess and report the value of natural assets as they seek to address climate change and the impacts of land uses.

“As climate and natural capital reporting becomes mainstream, organisations are finding that there is no single technology or data source that can meet all their needs,” Dr Waterworth said.

“FLINTpro solves this problem by integrating multiple streams of data, including best in class soil and biomass estimates, to simplify natural capital reporting for carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, water and soil.”

While he was working in developing nations Waterworth realised that while plenty of great tech companies were working in the space, using satellites and other systems, not one was bringing the information together in a way that helped everyone make sense of the data, “so we said, let’s build that”.

From open source to pro

FLINTpro began open source platform before taking on Seed investors in 2018.

“They came out to us – we weren’t looking for investment – saw what we were doing and said ‘okay, that’s a great, that’s really unique,” Waterworth recalls.

“We turned the software into an online platform called Open Pro.”

The new named emerged during a drive through Kenya – he recalls they as they were watching the US reality TV show Cheaters.

“FLINT is a full lands integration tool,” he explains adding that it Pro is the commercial version which now sits alongside the open source version of FLINT.

The fresh capital will be used to support FLINTpro’s global operations and customer base expansion after the business relocated its headquarters to the US last year.

The company counts the NSW government among its clients, and counts multiple “sub-national” governments on the front line of land use among its clients, and while FLINTpro supports carbon credit market clients, the commercial opportunity is around the natural risk reporting that’s coming through financial disclosures and the need to report on scope 123 emissions and take mitigation actions.

“That’s where the market has actually exploded,” Dr Waterworth said.

“That corporate and financial reporting need – then potentially, when you come down to the individual farms, starting to look at those in settings, so it’s really scale dependent. Are you looking at a huge organisation that needs to report or bringing that right down to the individual piece of land and the individual farmer working on that?”

Most importantly, the platform also delivers data integrity to avoid any threat of greenwashing for companies using it.

Understorey director Jordan Soriot, who’s also on the FLINTpro board, said the platform “drives higher integrity reporting and analysis, which is key to building trust in a growing and complex sector” as the corporate site grapple with Scope 1,2 & 3 reporting.

“The technology has enormous potential to unlock nature-positive outcomes and GHG emissions drawdown at scale,” he said.

“FLINTpro’s mission to reveal nature’s value will enable organisations to map and quantify their land-based impacts effectively and accurately, allowing them to take greater control over their strategies to meet or exceed increasingly complex and ambitious reporting requirements, stakeholder expectations, and emissions reduction targets”.

Martijn Wilder, co-founder and CEO of Pollination said:  “We’ve seen a rapidly increasing demand for technologies that can provide accurate data to support climate and nature reporting. Pollination has been working with FLINTpro over many years and see their potential as a strong market leader in this space.”