Frontline is the latest startup to grab VC dollars with a $6.4 million seed round
forest fires and damage they cause is a growing problem. The United States has seen more than 66,000 wildfires in 2022 alone, and while many believe these natural disasters are largely a California problem, they are burning across the country, causing millions of dollars in damage. .
Harry Statter knows this because his entire career has focused on the intersection of the built world and natural consequences. In 2012, he was working at a forestry company he founded and decided to research what causes buildings and structures to ignite during a forest fire. He found that 90% of structure fires are the result of wind-blown embers, which can travel seven – and up to 24 – miles from a real wildfire. He decided to pivot.
“Active defense, through firefighters on the property and protecting that structure, you just can’t scale firefighters to the number of exposed structures,” Statter told me. “Furthermore, firefighters are there for the safety of people, they are not there for the protection of private property. During forest fires they facilitate safe evacuation of people, they are not there to protect people’s homes. »
Statter founded Frontline, which builds external sprinkler systems that use geospatial software to detect wildfires. If a home is within range, Frontline’s software will activate the sprinklers and offer advice on what users should do next. Ten years later, the company has just raised a $6.4 million seed round led by Echelon and is starting to grow.
“We are growing very quickly and have seen massive demand for our technology,” he said. “We are increasing our Serie A round because we are growing so fast.”
But Frontline isn’t meant to be a silver bullet, and there’s still a long way to go until there’s a wide range of technologies that help users mitigate fire damage and learn better. to live with them. But the foundations for that to change are beginning to be laid.