StormSensor raises $10 million for rain management technology amid severe worldwide flooding

Heavy rains in November in a row flooded areas in Washington and British Columbia. Flooding in Bellingham, Wash. Leads to road closures on November 28 (Photo provided by the City of Bellingham)

Record rains this fall have created disasters around the globe. It engulfed thousands of cows and cattle and cut off a large city in Pacific Northwest, when half way around the world, the downpours of rain red scorpion from their hideout in an Egyptian city, leaving hundreds with life-threatening stings.

When the climate changes Driving in heavy rain and sea level rise, there’s simply more water to go around. And many areas lack the infrastructure needed to control and direct the cataclysm where it would be less damaging.

Headquarters in Seattle StormSensor is providing tools to help manage water and prevent flooding.

The startup on Wednesday announced that it had raised $10 million in new funding, bringing its total investment to around $16 million. The company has 37 employees.

When the CEO Erin Rothman launch StormSensor in 2016, she begins talking to cities and counties about their stormwater drainage systems, pipes, and basins that take water out of their roads and buildings.

“It shocked me to realize that most cities have no idea how much water they are moving and how well their systems work,” she said.

Erin Rothman throws a StormSensor at the 2018 GeekWire Summit pitch final round (Photo GeekWire / Dan DeLong)

So she developed sensors to monitor the flow and temperature of the water, and software to track and understand it all. Building the hardware is the really hard part, says Rothman. Devices need to work in underground metal and concrete tunnels with fake water, generate quality data, and reliably, efficiently relay it. The original sensors failed after a few days, she said, but today’s models work fine.

StormSensor software combines sensor data as well as external conditions including rainfall, wind, and tidal intensity and length. It provides real-time alerts when problems are detected.

The new funding will allow the company to further develop the platform. It is developing more sophisticated analytics to show how infrastructure performs during different weather events over different time periods. The idea is to help identify high-risk positions and highlight the most important areas for investment improvement.

Startups are also job-focused. It has a risk index tool that can indicate flood prone areas and fallback areas that could have a worse impact as people have lower incomes and fewer resources to respond. cope with life disruptions and damaged, moldy homes.

“Our mission is to create thriving communities, and this is one way to support that goal,” says Rothman.

“Our mission is to create thriving communities.”

Like many other companies, the startup is feeling some of the pain caused by today’s global supply chain challenges. A sensor unit that cost $6 last year, now costs $70. Rothman said StormSensor has stockpiled materials for the next year’s cover.

The $10 million round was co-led by Orbia Ventures and Buoyant Ventures, with participation from Burnt Island Ventures, Gratitude Railroad, Portland Seed Fund, American Family Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, and a number of individual investors.

StormSensor primarily works with municipalities, which include towns and cities from 5,000 people to those with 1 million people. Their customers are spread across the country, with many on the East Coast, Southeast and around the Great Lakes.

When considering events like recent flooding in British Columbia and northern Washington, does Rothman really think the StormSensor system could make a difference, at least in more urban areas?

“With a 500-year storm event, you could be a SOL. However, for smaller storm events, even 50 or 100 or 200 years old, there is a way – but only if we know how much water we have to deal with. And that’s what we do,” she said, “is understand that volume. “

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