Airly secures new $5.5M to fight air pollution and save lives

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Air pollution is the most-pressing environmental health crisis of our time with approximately nine in 10 people around the world breathing unclean air. Helping to spotlight this existential threat, cleantech startup Airly has announced a $5.5M series A funding round as it targets cleaning the air by understanding the exact sources based on sensor data and comprehensive actionable insights.

The funding round was led by firstminute capital and Pi Labs with participation from existing investors including. Sir Richard Branson Family Office, AENU, Untitled and new investors including Slack co-founder Cal Henderson, Snowflake co-founder Marcin Zukowski as well as institutional investors Semapa Next and TO Ventures. With this funding round, Airly has raised $8.8M from investors since March 2021, as it now scales to realize the potential of its complete air quality monitoring platform and supporting local governments determined to fight for clean air with an end-to-end solution. The Airly platform provides solutions for air quality monitoring to local governments, companies and local communities in over 40 countries. They use sensors to observe data and now Airly will be able to provide a complete dashboard enabling users to go one step further. They will be able to monitor the data and obtain actionable insights that will translate into effective actions to improve air quality and understand their impact on health and well-being. The dashboard will offer multiple features including a  report generator, insights, impact tracker and the city ranking.

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“With the funding round we are going deeper with our users. Monitoring with our sensors has helped bring the issue to the surface and now with our dashboard offering actionable insights and nudges, we believe this will be the catalyst that helps move measures and policies into place to repair the air we breathe,” Wiktor Warchałowski, CEO and co-founder of Airly, said.

Recently, Airly launched the largest air quality monitoring network in a European city by installing 165 sensors in Warsaw. Similarly large networks have also been launched in the UK (Birmingham and the London boroughs of Lambeth, Haringey and soon Southwark) and Indonesia (Jakarta). Airly has also strategic partnerships with the likes of JCDecaux, NHS, NILU (Norwegian Institute for Air Research) and is a key partner in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded DivAirCity project.

Airly impact studies have proven that cities with a dense network of air quality sensors are achieving faster reduction in air pollution. Since 2019, four cities from the C40 group (a global network of cities taking urgent action to confront the climate crisis) with dense monitoring networks (Jakarta, Lisbon, London and Warsaw) have improved their overall air quality by 16% (compared to 5% improvement made by cities without dense networks).

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“Trailblazers in London are showing how real-time local air quality data is the catalyst for taking action to make our urban spaces healthier and more sustainable. I expect many cities and local authorities to follow their leadership, starting with more precise and local data. Airly is at the forefront of building this data infrastructure and our fight against air pollution, and we’re very proud to continue our support by co-leading their Series A,” Brent Hoberman, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Founders Forum and firstminute capital, added.

More than 10 million people die each year from air pollution. Exposure to air pollution increases the risk of stroke, dementia, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases, with children particularly vulnerable. Last year, the World Health Organization tightened up on safe levels of air pollutants. Airly is the first platform worldwide to include the new index in its analytical tools and free-to-use community tools (incl. mobile app and web application).

“The ways in which towns and cities contribute to our health and wellbeing will shape how we live for years to come – and air quality plays a huge part in that. We believe Airly’s solution will become an essential tool in cities around the world, helping to improve liveability standards, reduce emissions, and ultimately, getting us closer to sustainability and wellness goals. We are excited at the prospect of partnering with a team that can truly go global with its impact,” Stefania Ponzo, Partner at Pi Labs, commented.