The Philippines is among the most disaster-prone nations on the earth, with geography that makes it susceptible to typhoons, floods, volcanos, earthquakes and droughts. Whereas working in IT, Felix Ayque started compiling cyclone stories and sending them as e-mail alerts to communities. His work developed into environmental intelligence platform Komunidad, which collects information from authorities and personal sources, and turns it into customizable analytics to assist purchasers react rapidly to potential disasters.
The Manila and Singapore-based startup introduced it has raised $1 million in seed funding, led by Wavemaker Companions with participation from ADB Ventures, the Asian Growth Financial institution’s enterprise arm, to increase in Asia and add options to its platform, together with a self-serve model that’s slated for launch in January 2022.
Based in 2019, Komunidad has purchasers within the Philippines, India, Cambodia and Vietnam, and serves a number of sectors, together with utilities, agriculture, mining, schooling, native governments and enterprise outsourcing facilities. Earlier than launching the startup, Ayque labored as an IT developer at a number of climate businesses, together with the state-owned New Zealand MetService. He started creating cyclone stories on his personal as a marketing consultant after Storm Haiyan in 2013, also referred to as Tremendous Storm Yolanda, which killed at the very least 6,300 individuals within the Philippines.
The stories had been meant to assist companies reply extra rapidly to pure disasters. Storm Haiyan hit at a time when the enterprise outsourcing sector was rising quickly within the Philippines, with many overseas corporations establishing a number of workplaces within the nation. Throughout a storm, companies sometimes switch workload to workplaces in areas that aren’t affected. Ayque’s first emails contained guide evaluation of potential cyclones.
Demand for his stories grew as corporations, together with power suppliers, wanted to answer local weather change. Komunidad started incomes sufficient income to increase and for Ayque to rent workers, together with meteorologists, information scientists, software program builders and enterprise growth groups based mostly in India and Southeast Asia. Its new funding will probably be used to construct a scalable platform.
Komunidad’s information sources embody main gamers like The Climate Firm, acquired by IBM in 2015, climate intelligence platform Tomorrow.io, and a number of other smaller environmental and climate information suppliers.
The platform turns information into dashboards related to their prospects’ wants, like extreme climate, photo voltaic, marine, soil moisture or air high quality. “We act as a system integrator that solely brings the related information and tells prospects that that is crucial information,” mentioned Ayque. Komunidad additionally allows its prospects to construct their very own alert programs. For instance, within the Philippines, many purchasers ship alerts by Viber, one of many nation’s hottest messaging apps, or SMS to achieve areas with unstable web connections.
For patrons within the power sector, Komunidad’s instruments assist them predict issues like energy utilization based mostly on temperature. It’s additionally been utilized by native governments to resolve faculty cancellations. In the course of the pandemic, Komunidad helped cities monitor individuals density to allow them to resolve what areas want extra crowd management.
Certainly one of Komunidad’s aggressive benefits is knowing what information is essential in numerous areas. For instance, it lately closed a cope with the Assam State Catastrophe Administration Company (ASDMA) to concentrate on lighting and thunderstorm alerts, as a result of Assam is the probably the most lightning-prone states in India.
“Each nation has a unique profile, and we perceive that our method has to essentially concentrate on group, after which prolong to enterprise,” Ayque mentioned.
Since Komunidad’s prospects must react rapidly, it creates easy-to-understand visualizations from uncooked information stories, which are sometimes incomprehensible to individuals with out technical backgrounds. For instance, that is perhaps a easy bar graph, warnings in inexperienced, yellow and pink, or maps that flip pink if a serious climate or environmental occasion is anticipated to happen inside the subsequent six hours.
A part of Komunidad’s funding will probably be used to launch self-service customizable dashboards subsequent yr that may enable purchasers to drag-and-drop widgets, much like creating an internet site in Wix or WordPress. The seed spherical may also assist Komunidad tackle new enterprise alternatives in India, Thailand, Cambodia and different markets, develop its gross sales groups and pay for extra information sources.