5 Startups Tackling Natural Disasters

Computer screen with extreme weather warning.

As climate change continues to leave its stamp on the planet, natural disasters have become increasingly common. Thankfully, there are plenty of startups striving to both reduce both the frequency and impact of these natural disasters. From satellite-based wildfire detection to AI damage analysis, here are the top startups tackling natural disasters. 

Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.

Companies Fighting Natural Disasters

1. OroraTech

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: Series A, €22.4M

Detecting wildfires as early as possible is key when it comes to limiting the damage that they cause. Founded in 2018, OroraTech has developed and sent into space a collection of "nanosatellites" designed for the early detection and monitoring of forest fires. In addition to wildfire detection and mapping, OraTech satellites can also be utilized for severe weather forecasting. 

2. Tractable

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: Series D, $119.9 Million 

Responding to natural disasters and finding ways to help after a natural disaster has happened is something that is typically much more feasible than preventing them, and assessing the amount of damage that a disaster has caused is an important part of this process. To help organizations such as insurance companies and government agencies assess the damage caused by natural disasters, Tractable offers AI technology that is able to accurately evaluate the monetary value of damages based on images such as satellite or drone photos. 

3. Tesselo

Location: Lisbon, Portugal 

Funding: Seed, €400K

Combating climate change is one of the most important objectives when it comes to preventing natural disasters. To assist with this all-important goal, Tesselo provides AI analysis of satellite imagery in order to produce sustainability insights. Tesselo's country-scale mapping solutions are able to produce key data points such as forest growth forecasts, crop harvest forecasts, pest prevalence, natural disaster risk analysis, and much more. 

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4. VanderSat (Acquired by Planet)

Location: Haarlem, Netherlands 

Funding: Series A, €1.3M

Founded in 2015, VanderSat is a company that provides satellite-based soil and water data that is used by humanitarian organizations to predict both floods and droughts. In addition to helping organizations better predict these two common types of natural disasters, VanderSat also works to provide insights regarding the vulnerability of a region's food and water resources.

5. Drone Hopper

Location: Madrid, Spain

Funding: Grant, $3 Million 

Dropping water from the sky remains one of the most effective ways to fight wildfires. However, it's also a costly, inefficient, and often dangerous process. To help solve each of these challenges, Drone Hopper has developed an aerial drone that is capable of delivering a payload of up to 600 liters of water. In addition to being capable of carrying such a large payload, other qualities that make these heavy-duty drones an ideal solution for fighting wildfires include its state-of-the-art stability system that keeps them stable in high winds and their patented water mist jet creation technology that ensures all of the water is delivered exactly where it needs to be. 

Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of natural disasters?

Natural disasters can take several different forms, including floods, droughts, hurricanes, typhoons, landslides, earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires. While these natural disasters can often be caused by human actions, they are separated from manmade disasters that are the direct result of human actions such as chemical spills and radiological accidents. 

Are natural disasters on the rise?

The World Meteorological Organization reports that weather-related natural disasters have increased in frequency by five-fold over the past 50 years. While it is worth mentioning that improved reporting is cited as one reason for this increase, climate change and an increase in extreme weather conditions are also listed as reasons why natural disasters have been on the rise. 

What are the ways to help after a natural disaster?

Natural disasters have always been one of the threats that mankind faces, and they probably won't ever be eliminated entirely. However, climate change combined with a growing population that makes it more likely for a disaster to impact a larger number of people has made this threat more prominent than ever before. 

In addition to slowing down climate change through an increased emphasis on sustainability, developing disaster preparedness policies and technologies is one of the best ways to limit the destruction that these disasters cause in the future.