Verna adds £860k to pre-seed round for tree planting software

Verna

Verna has landed £860,000 in its pre-seed funding round for its software that finds and analyses potential locations to plant trees.

Verna’s software takes factors such as regulation and markets into consideration to help planters with decisions, like when to sell a piece of land.

The London-based company’s first equity investment round was led by Vanneck EIS, with further investment coming from Octopus Ventures.

Speaking to UKTN, Verna co-founder, Matthew Brown said: “After speaking and working with a wide range of people managing land, we discovered that it’s a huge challenge for them to factor all the relevant science, economics, and regulation into their decisions, and there is a clear need for digital tools to help cut through the complexity.”

Verna will spend the capital on extending the capabilities of its ForestFounder software to analyse more “nature and climate opportunities”.

Clients of Verna include the National Highways, the Environmental Agency and Forestry England.

“We are currently working on systems to identify the best carbon and biodiversity options for land across a wider range of interventions,” said Brown, giving the example of peatland restoration.

It was recently awarded £1.4m in government funding for its analytics software.

The £860,000 brings Verna’s total funding to more than £2.2m. Verna has also received funds from bootstrapping and initial revenue.

Kirsten Connell, principal at Octopus Ventures, said: “The Verna team have years’ worth of both public and private experience, deep knowledge of their sector and the network to deliver their vision.”