Krakow-Palo Alto based startup Airly has announced a €1.7 million pre-seed round to scale its AI-powered air quality platform globally.
The financing was led by Giant Ventures, the multi-stage fund backing purpose-driven technology companies. Leading angel investors also participated, including: members of Sir Richard Branson’s and Sir Ronald Cohen’s families; Pipedrive co-founder Martin Tajur; Cherry Ventures partner and former Spotify CMO Sophia Bendz; former Gojek CMO Piotr Jakubowski; and Henkel board member Konstantin von Unger. Poland’s National Center of Research & Development provided additional funding.
Today 9 out of 10 people globally breathe contaminated air. Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of stroke, dementia, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, with children particularly vulnerable. Recent research by Airly has linked air pollution to increased coronavirus infection rates.
The air pollution crisis is global, impacting both the wealthiest and poorest cities. This month four west coast cities in the US, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, ranked in the top 6 for worst air quality in the world, as wildfires covered the region in smoke, forcing residents to stay indoors.
Airly, founded in 2016, provides accurate, ultra-local, predictive air quality data for governments, companies and individuals to understand the air their communities breathe. Airly’s sensors act as a global warning system for pollution at street level and in real time; its proprietary breakthroughs in sensor miniaturization and machine learning allow it to monitor more pollutants with greater accuracy, at lower cost, and in more places.
The system involves dense networks of sensors that measure particulate matter (PM1, PM2.5 and PM10) and gaseous compounds (NO2, SO2, O3 and CO). It provides users live access to this data through an intuitive mobile app and online map. Overall, Airly’s unique AI-powered air quality forecast function allows it to predict the flow of pollutants for the next 24 hours with a verifiability of up to 95%.
With more than 10,000 data points in over 30 countries, Airly’s customers comprise over 400 local governments and cities including Berlin, Jakarta, Oslo, Rome, Athens and Krakow, corporates such as Philips, PwC, Motorola, Aviva, Veolia and Skanska, as well as schools, universities, and charitable foundations. Airly’s recently launched API allows media, technology, and finance companies to access live air quality data globally.
Airly CEO and co-founder Wiktor Warchałowski commented: “Airly’s mission is to repair the air by building a single source of truth for air-quality data, globally. Accurate air quality data is essential for effective action towards improving the air around us. We provide tools that help to improve the lives of individuals and whole communities.”
Giant Ventures Managing Partner Cameron McLain said: “At Giant we back world-class, purpose-driven founders using advanced technology to solve the planet’s biggest challenges. Airly is all of those things. By building the leading source of air quality data globally, Airly is creating enormous social and economic value.”