Richard Branson-backed Airly raises £2.4M to open office in UK
Air cleaning tech startup, backed by Richard Brandson, Airly announced it has raised a $3.3 million (£2.4 million approx.) funding round to globally scale its AI-powered air quality platform.
Airly’s customers comprise over 600 local governments and cities including Hong Kong, Jakarta, Oslo, Granada, corporates such as Philips, Virgin, Innogy, PwC, Veolia and Skanska. Further, Airly plans to open offices in the UK and US also to double its staff count.
The funding round was led by firstminute capital, an early-stage venture fund based in London, which is led by Brent Hoberman CBE and backed by over 70 unicorn tech founders.
Leading angel investors also participated, including: Uber founder Garrett Camp via Expa, Bolt CEO Markus Villig, founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED David Rowan, Pipedrive founder Ragnar Sass and Ferry Heilemann, co-founder of Leaders for Climate Action.
Previous investors, including Sir Richard Branson Family Office and Henkel board member Konstantin von Unger also participated in the round. Existing investors include Giant Ventures and Sir Ronald Cohen’s family.
Airly provides actionable insights about air quality with its AI-driven algorithms that predict air pollution for the next 24 hours with verifiability of up to 95%. The firm gives customers across the globe an environmental intelligence platform by installing networks of sensors that track all the key pollution markers – particulate matter (PM1, PM2.5, PM10) and gases (NO2, O3, SO2 and CO). Airly’s R&D department is also partnering with mobility companies to roll out sensor-equipped cars & scooters to track air quality with even higher resolution.
Airly CEO and co-founder Wiktor Warchałowski commented: “Polluted air is a plague on our health – it’s like a pandemic in slow motion. Improving air quality needs to be at the core of the world’s post-pandemic rebuild and Airly is the first step to pollution-free cities. With this funding, we can expand our global footprint to support even more cities, enterprises and communities to repair the air and empower them with data and actionable insights.”
firstminute capital Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Brent Hoberman said: “With public and political awareness of the air quality crisis reaching a tipping point – from California fires to the landmark cause of death case in London – air quality data will become a key utility for consumers, companies and policymakers. Thanks to their technology, which is orders of magnitude less expensive than incumbent solutions, Airly provides greater density and 95% accurate AI-driven prediction. At firstminute capital – we believe that the company has the potential to become a single source of truth for air quality globally.”
In addition to improving its environmental intelligence platform and algorithms, Airly will use the money to expand its team with the addition of sales, marketing and engineering talents in several countries.