Pano AI, the leader in wildfire detection technology, raises $17M in growth capital, adds Artificial Intelligence leaders to executive team
Recent investment in the field of “climate change adaptation” by Valor Equity Partners, Salesforce Ventures, T-Mobile and others demonstrates commitment to safeguarding communities, bringing Pano AI’s total funding to $45M
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Pano AI, the first company to offer a fully-managed solution for active wildfire detection using artificial intelligence, has raised $17M in new growth capital led by Valor Equity Partners. Joining the funding round as new investors are Salesforce Ventures, T-Mobile Ventures (an affiliate of Pano’s connectivity partner T-Mobile US), and the 5G Open Innovation Lab, alongside the continued support of existing investors Initialized Capital, Congruent Ventures, Convective Capital, January Ventures, Kevin Mahaffey, and Jade Van Doren. Concurrent with this funding, Pano announces the expansion of its executive team including a distinguished leader in Artificial Intelligence, Ryan White, who formerly led high profile machine learning teams at Amazon and Meta.
Sonia Kastner, the CEO, and founder of Pano AI, emphasized the significance of this funding, stating: “The world has seen increasingly severe and frequent wildfires and other natural disasters in recent years. Even in an economic downturn, we must act rapidly to cope with these escalating effects of climate change. This incremental capital signifies our emerging market leadership and growing commercial traction and emphasizes the urgent need for innovative technologies that focus on climate adaptation. Today marks a significant milestone for all of us at Pano AI, and we wouldn’t be where we are without the support of our investors, team members, and trailblazing customers. The funding will allow us to accelerate the expansion of our solution across the globe and also our investment in R&D so that we can continue to enhance our product offering to deliver more powerful tools for emergency managers.”
In 2022, Pano AI took center stage as a leading innovator within the rapidly evolving field of climate adaptation technology. As the climate crisis magnifies the threat of wildfires across the globe, every minute matters in wildfire response. Pano AI offers a comprehensive turnkey solution that integrates mountaintop cameras, satellite feeds, artificial intelligence, 5G connectivity, and modern cloud software to detect and pinpoint new ignitions and alert fire professionals within minutes. This actionable intelligence helps first responders get to the scene faster and more safely—with the right equipment, the latest information, and enhanced coordination—so they can stop a new ignition in its tracks.
Abe Yokell, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Congruent Ventures, expressed, “We have witnessed Pano AI’s rise as an exemplary leader in climate adaptation. The team’s unwavering commitment to innovation is fueling the development of transformative, and scalable solutions to help combat the escalating devastation caused by wildfires. The urgency to mitigate and prevent the impacts of wildfires has never been more clear, and we are proud to continue supporting Pano’s efforts to address these threats.”
Pano AI will use this funding as growth capital to continue advancing its AI-based active wildfire detection solution, transforming how fire agencies respond to new ignitions and prevent catastrophic wildfires. The funding will also support ongoing talent acquisition and facilitate Pano AI’s market expansion across additional high fire-risk areas within North America and Australia to safeguard lives, communities, and the environment from the increasing threat of wildfires. This latest investment, amidst an economic downturn, demonstrates an unwavering commitment to safeguarding communities from increasing wildfire threats.
“With smoke from the Canadian wildfires gripping many parts of the U.S. and announcements that insurers are exiting the California market due to climate risk, it is overwhelmingly clear that we need solutions to deal with the increasing rate of wildfires,” said Claudine Emeott, Partner at the Salesforce Ventures Impact Fund. “While our fund has always been focused on climate change mitigation technologies, our investment in Pano AI marks our first stake in climate adaptation, which has never been more essential than it is right now.”
Over the past year, Pano has experienced substantial momentum, acquiring many new customers and partners spanning two countries and gaining recognition as a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer and Most Innovative Company by Fast Company.
Pano also expanded its executive team, including adding world class leadership in the fields of computer vision and Artificial Intelligence. To the existing executive team of Sonia Kastner, CEO, Arvind Satyam, Chief Commercial Officer and Brad Ferkol, VP of Operations, Pano has added several additional seasoned Silicon Valley leaders: Michael Golub, VP of Finance, hailing from Doordash and Sunbasket, Lina Rizzo, Director of People and Talent, with previous experience at Apple, Square, and Nest and Pano’s new VP of Engineering, Ryan White, bringing decades of experience in Computer Vision and AI from both Academia (U.C. Berkeley) and industry (Amazon and Meta). Under Ryan’s leadership, Pano AI will continue to leverage cutting-edge AI to develop new situational awareness tools for Pano’s emergency management customers, to help them face the growing threat of natural disasters.
“We have been proud to partner with Pano AI, pairing our industry-leading 5G network with their innovative technology to help detect and pinpoint wildfires faster than ever before,” said John Saw, EVP and Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile. “With this investment from T-Mobile Ventures, we are doubling down on our commitment to bring this life-saving technology to more areas and help limit the devastation caused by wildfires.”
“Because of climate change, we are entering an era where much of the world’s communities will have to learn how to live with and adapt to larger-scale wildfires, which impacts air quality and public safety,” says Kim-Mai Cutler, partner at Initialized Capital. “Pano AI’s solution integrates advanced hardware, software and computer vision with local and regional infrastructure, enabling communities to detect and manage these risks.”
Bill Clerico, Founder & Managing Partner of Convective Capital, a wildfire-focused venture capital firm, said “Pano is that rare company that encompasses an important mission, a brilliant team, an impactful product and tremendous business momentum. We’re thrilled to double down on our investment in Pano as the category leader in wildfire detection and situational awareness.”
Pano AI is actively present in six states within the United States: California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Additionally, the company operates in two Australian states: New South Wales and Queensland bringing Pano’s total area of land actively monitored for wildfires to 6.05M acres. Notable customers of Pano AI include PacifiCorp, Xcel Energy, Portland General Electric (PGE), Holy Cross Energy, Big Sky Fire Department, Aspen Fire Protection District, Telluride Fire Protection District, Boulder County, Washington DNR, Forestry Corporation of NSW (Australia), Southern Cross Forests (Australia), and Noosa Council’s FireTech Connect Program (Australia).
About Pano AI
Pano AI is the first company to offer a fully-integrated solution for active wildfire detection using artificial intelligence to help fire authorities identify and extinguish new ignitions before they become a threat. Harnessing the latest developments in cameras, 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, and cloud-based software, Pano AI provides fire agencies with real-time actionable intelligence and situational awareness to coordinate an informed rapid response to wildfires before they escalate, safeguarding lives, communities, and the environment.
About Valor Equity Partners
Valor Equity Partners is an operational growth investment firm focused on investing in high-growth companies across various stages of development. For decades, Valor has served its companies with unique expertise to solve the challenges of growth and scale. Valor partners with leading companies and entrepreneurs who are committed to the highest standards of excellence and the courage to transform their industries. For more information on Valor Equity Partners, please visit www.valorep.com.
T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint. For more information please visit: https://www.t-mobile.com
About Salesforce Ventures
Salesforce Ventures helps enterprising founders build companies that reinvent the way the world works. Since 2009, we’ve invested in and partnered with more than 400 of the world’s most tenacious enterprise software companies from seed to IPO, including Airtable, Databricks, DocuSign, Guild Education, Hopin, monday.com, nCino, Snowflake, Snyk, Stripe, Tanium, and Zoom. Salesforce Ventures leverages our decades of expertise in the cloud and our long-term relationships with key decision-makers at thousands of businesses around the world to give our portfolio companies an unfair advantage, help them build credibility, and accelerate growth. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 25 countries with offices all over the world including in San Francisco, Irvine, New York, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. Follow @SalesforceVC and learn more at http://www.salesforceventures.com.