This week in our Startup Spotlight blog series is our 2022 XTC Sustainable Smart Cities co-Runner-Up – Quiron Digital!
Forest risk prediction from satellite image analysis.
Six Questions for Diogo Machado, CEO and Founder, Quiron Digital of Brazil
Diogo works developing new products and services at Quiron Digital. In the past, Diogo developed more than 60 strategic positioning projects to differentiate brands, businesses, and ecosystems, in numerous market segments. He is a speaker on the topics of development of new products and services, creativity, and value proposition as competitive differentials. He believes that creativity is a process and nothing can replace experience.
1. What problem is Quiron Digital solving and how?
At Quiron, we are building the world’s most advanced forest-focused earth observation platform, which monitors all aspects of forest and soil health, predicting risks and providing unique insights. Our solution combines rich satellite and environment based data sources with advanced AI technologies to help forest managers around the world drive for pre-emptive planet enhancing forest outcomes. Our vision is for every forest in the world to be uniquely decoded, understood and monitored, so it can be nurtured to realize its full value to the planet.
2. What is your background that led you to founding Quiron Digital?
I worked for many years developing projects of strategic planning, branding and creation of services for several companies. But I’ve always had a personal goal of founding a technology company that could have a real impact on people’s lives. One day, watching an article about forest fires, I contacted some friends who had already been working with forest monitoring with satellite images and from that conversation came the fire prediction service and the strengthening of other services to mitigate forest threats with Quiron.
3. What is unique about your technology and what is the validation status?
All our algorithms are developed in-house. Thus, we achieve accuracies that are not possible with “off-the-shelf” models and indexers. In addition, we were able to analyze a large volume of data and automate the processing of these areas. Our models exceed 90% accuracy, in different solutions. We use a range of different satellite constellations to get better and better results.
Interestingly, we ran our own internal tests with data on Northern California in 2021 which showed daily risk probabilities. One of the areas where our models showed highest risk was precisely the area where, 45 days later, occurred the tragic Caldor Fire. We take no pleasure in being validated in such a way, but it gave us confidence that we have a valuable tool to share with the world.
4. What are your Go-To-Market ideas and traction received so far?
Our current clients are those focused on the forestry market, whether with paper, pulp, wood or public and private forest managers. Governments are also part of the list of clients in 7 different countries, including the USA. 2021 was our first year on the market with $100,000 in sales, and that year, between grants and sales, we reached $1 million in revenue, monitoring more than 30 million acres around the world.
5. What’s next?
Right now it is growing the installed base of our very effective first product. We want to expand our fire prediction solution to more counties in California and also broader forest-observation to lumber/pulp customers in other states, as well as growing further in Latin America and Europe’s especially fire-prone Iberian Peninsula.
6. Tell us about your experience with XTC and what were the benefits/takeaways?
XTC guarantees us the opportunity to be where we never thought we could be. Being on the global stage of XTC itself as a winner; the opportunity to be invited to TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield. Our XTC win helped us create visibility to close on seed funding with a European Fund. All of this provides a lot of networking, especially with large investors to leverage our ideas.
Interviewed and edited by John Martin
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