8 Innovative Startups that Support Biodiversity

Photo of Urszula Gębska

Urszula Gębska

Updated Feb 21, 2024 • 11 min read
jungle of seychelles island

For years, biodiversity has been an elephant in the room in the conversation about the climate crisis.

Finally, an increasing number of organizations acknowledge that without protecting all the different kinds of life on our planet, we won’t be able to solve the most pressing climate challenges.

WWF’s 2022 Living Planet Report found an average 69% decline in global populations of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians since 1970. This devastating number disturbed the balance in ecosystems that support the lives of all organisms – including us, humans.

And our economy. It’s estimated that over half the world’s total GDP – a whopping $44 trillion of economic value generation – is moderately or highly dependent on nature. It’s disheartening that we had to come this far to give biodiversity loss the attention it deserves, but it's essential that we act now.

“We need to reset the relationship between humans and nature,” said Dominic Waughray, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum.

More and more startup founders believe that by investing in ecosystem restoration, we can address the root causes of biodiversity loss and create a more sustainable and resilient world for ourselves and for the countless species that we share our planet with. Let’s take a look at the most promising companies committed to preserving the beauty and diversity of our planet.

Restor

Website / LinkedIn / Twitter

Founded Date: 2021

Total funding amount: $3.5 million

Industry: Environmental services

Mission: Restore Earth’s biodiversity and make it easier for everyone, everywhere to restore Earth’s biodiversity

Restor is a startup that aims to tackle biodiversity loss by promoting responsible restoration of Earth's ecosystems. Restor provides a platform with high-resolution monitoring of restoration sites, ecological insights, and a network of restoration teams to share experiences and overcome challenges. Their services cover a wide range of restoration activities, including natural regeneration, tree planting, conservation, and agroforestry.

Single Earth

Website / LinkedIn / Twitter

Founded Date: 2019

Total funding amount: $7.9 million

Industry: Environmental services

Mission: Integrate nature protection into daily life to combat climate change and biodiversity loss

Single.Earth is a greentech company dedicated to mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss by introducing the world's first nature-backed currency (MERIT). Utilizing natural sciences and blockchain technology, Single.Earth aims to make nature protection profitable for landowners of all sizes. This allows for the tokenization and monitoring of natural assets, capturing their ecological value and essential ecosystem services. In July 2021, Single.Earth raised $7.9 million to link carbon credits to the crypto token market. The company strives to build a fully sustainable nature-backed economy, allowing individuals, landowners, and businesses to contribute to protecting biodiverse forests and natural resources.

Forestbase

LinkedIn / Medium

Founded Date: 2021

Industry: Environmental services

Mission: Bring forests globally to their true price point.

Forestbase is a natural asset startup committed to preserving tropical rainforests by unlocking their global value. The company brings forests to the global financial markets as stable and tradable natural assets with secondary market dynamics. Forestbase aims to revalue natural assets and financially empower governments and local landowners worldwide. By splitting the forest into tradable hectares, Forestbase offers investors an opportunity to preserve forests by creating a financial incentive to do so.

“Deforestation is a financial problem. Nobody hates nature, yet it disappears at a very fast rate. So I wondered, what’s driving that? Nature disappears because there is a business case for it to disappear, and that business case only works because nature is priced very low.” Kjell Clarysse, Founder & CEO of Forestbase

Pivotal

Website / LinkedIn / Twitter

Founded Date: 2022

Total funding amount: £4.5 million

Industry: Data infrastructure and analytics

Mission: Provide the data that people and companies need to invest in positive outcomes for nature

By focusing on shared economic opportunity with local communities, Pivotal aims to make it financially beneficial for people to restore nature rather than destroy it. The company enables financial mechanisms like sustainability-linked bonds and biodiversity credits to direct funds to projects and activities that drive positive change. Their platform compiles the most detailed set of annotated, species-level biodiversity data ever recorded and provides quality-controlled analytics to showcase evidence of gains. Pivotal allows both the owners and buyers of credits to track changes in biodiversity over time and link the value of a credit to real, measured gains.

“The biodiversity crisis and the climate crisis are interdependent. We can't solve either one without solving the other.” Zoë Balmforth, Founder of Pivotal

Optimal Cities

LinkedIn

Founded Date: 2022

Industry: Architecture and planning

Mission: Develop thriving and vibrant cities with adequate places to live, work and relax while engaging local communities

Optimal Cities is an innovative startup supported by the European Space Agency (ESA) that is dedicated to developing sustainable urban solutions. By leveraging Earth observation data and satellite technologies, Optimal Cities addresses various challenges in urban planning and management. Their projects optimize city infrastructure, improve resource efficiency and enhance the overall quality of life in urban areas. By collaborating with city authorities and industry partners, Optimal Cities seeks to create innovative solutions for more sustainable and resilient cities.

Spoor

Website / LinkedIn

Founded Date: 2020

Total funding amount: $12-18 million

Industry: Software Development

Mission: Enable industry and nature to coexist

Spoor focuses on developing software that makes wildlife monitoring an integral part of the wind energy industry. Their platform allows companies to measure and report on bird impact, operationalize analysis, and implement deterrent measures for onshore and offshore wind farms. It provides continuous monitoring of wildlife using cutting-edge computer vision and AI to detect, track, and classify birds in wind farms. By providing insights to developers and operators and guiding mitigation measures, Spoor's software helps protect birds and their habitats while enabling the renewable energy industry to continue growing sustainably.

MORFO

Website / LinkedIn

Founded Date: 2022

Total funding amount: £4.2 million

Industry: Environmental Services

Mission: Restore ecosystems at high speed by planting forests

MORFO is an innovative startup dedicated to large-scale ecological restoration of forest ecosystems around the world using drone-based reforestation solutions. With their unique technology, MORFO can process up to 50 hectares of forest imagery per day and plant 180 seed pods every minute, even in steep and difficult-to-access lands. By ensuring local participation in their reforestation efforts, MORFO is building sustainable livelihoods for the most vulnerable communities. MORFO's solution is a complete, ecological, and innovative approach to restoring deteriorated natural areas and combating climate change rapidly and at scale.

Rainforest Connection

Website / LinkedIn

Founded Date: 2013

Industry: Nonprofit

Mission: Make acoustics a scalable worldwide approach to data collection and analysis for conservation management

Rainforest Connection, also known as RFCx, is an innovative startup that utilizes acoustic data to understand and manage threats to biodiversity around the world. RFCx built a platform that includes biodiversity analysis tools, threat detection tools, and a suite of hardware. It enables global partners, governments, corporations, scientists, and ecologists to truly understand impacts on ecosystems and guide conservation management. The platform provides a modern, user-friendly interface for exploring, visualizing, and monitoring ecoacoustics to extract insights on species, ecosystems, and interventions.

If we support biodiversity, diverse ecosystems will support us

“Our extractive, wasteful and polluting economy is increasingly acknowledged as the main underlying cause of the biodiversity crisis.” Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Protecting biodiversity is essential for ensuring a sustainable future for human society and the planet.

It provides vital ecosystem services, such as air and water purification, pollination, and nutrient cycling. Without these services, our economy and society would suffer.

Biodiversity also plays a crucial role in global food production, providing a wide range of crops, livestock, and fish that are important for human nutrition and livelihoods. It ensures food security, especially in the face of climate change and other environmental challenges.

Medicine and biotechnology are heavily based on natural resources. Medicines, drugs, and other biotechnological products are derived from plants, animals, and microorganisms. Preserving these resources is essential for developing new products that can benefit human health and well-being.

Additionally, biodiversity provides opportunities for tourism and recreation, contributing to local economies and providing jobs and income for communities.

Finally, protecting biodiversity is critical for regulating the Earth's climate by sequestering carbon and regulating the water cycle, mitigating the impacts of climate change, and ensuring a sustainable future for human society and the planet.

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Urszula Gębska

Product Designer at Netguru
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