Green Tech – Feat. Wilder Sensing

As part of our Tech For Good series we had a chat with Geoff Carss, CEO at Wilder Sensing, a cloud platform to enable investors, land managers, farmers, ecologists and citizen scientists to better understand changes to biodiversity. Using audio files and Machine Learning, Wilder Sensing provides details of whats present on a site and, over time, helps understand changes to biodiversity.

The purpose of the Tech For Good series of interviews is to create a platform that showcases and champions companies, products and technologists who are using technology as a force for positive change in the world.

Mike @ ADLIB: Can you tell us more about what Wilder Sensing and how the product works?

Geoff: We listen to nature. We use simple audio devices working 24/7 over long periods of time with the audio files being uploaded to our website. They are then analysed using AI to identify what species are present. The files from one device can generate over 250,000 species level records over a year and sites have multiple devices. This provides an incredible insight into what species are present and how the assemblage changes over time. Changes to biodiversity reflect how a site or landscape is being managed and we can quantify the impact of more nature positive activities such as tree planting and more surface water etc.

Mike @ ADLIB: Who is it aimed at and what has the feedback been so far?

Geoff: Our target markets are ecologists, land owners and companies with land assets such as quarries, farms and restoration sites. Developers having to offset Biodiversity Net Gain Credits will be able to track the impact their offset investments are having either onsite or delivered by a third party.

There are a number of business oriented nature reporting frameworks being developed such as the Taskforce for Nature Based Financial Disclosure (TNFD) – many large companies will need to report their impact on biodiversity and need a high quality auditable data source which can be collected over many years and be cost effective.

We ran a series of Proof of Concepts in 2023 around the UK and elsewhere and launched a commercial product late last year when we knew we could scale both technically and commercially. The feedback from both PoC sites and paying customers has been very positive as the data really helps them better understand what’s living on their site and how it’s changing over the seasons. All PoC customers are expanding their implementation and are great reference sites for us.

Mike @ ADLIB: How did you come up with the idea?

Geoff: It stemmed from a number of conversations in 2022 particularly around carbon credits. Talking with major companies who were spending considerable money on carbon credits, they were really concerned that the quality of data around the world was mixed and consequently was undermining the carbon credit market. The subject of biodiversity credits was becoming more mainstream and a much better way of reporting biodiversity was needed especially what was living on a site – not just the large plants which can be monitored by satellite.

I started to look at technologies which could be highly scalable, low cost and work anywhere in the world and identify the birds, mammals and other things living on a site – and the obvious way of doing this was using audio. I have a tech background and a deep life long passion for the environment (especially birds) and there wasn’t a commercial solution available on the market – so we built one!

Mike @ ADLIB: How was 2023 for you and what are your goals for this year?

Geoff: 2023 was pivotal in that we confirmed we can get accurate results, have a scalable platform and have a commercially viable product being used by paying customers. We generated our first revenue which is clearly a very significant milestone. A number of our customers are around the Bristol area so we are starting to get unparalleled insight as to what’s living in the region and how it’s changing.

In 2024 we will be raising our first investment to fuel the growth of Wilder Sensing as well as driving the use across our target markets and geographies.

Mike @ ADLIB: How can people get involved in supporting Wilder Sensing? And more broadly, preserving biodiversity locally?

Geoff: We aim to recruit more software engineers, quantitative ecologists and business development people once we have funding in place – all of which would ideally have a great passion for nature and biodiversity. If there are any Angel investors, ecologists or land owners interested please contact me.

More broadly, everyone can contribute to improving biodiversity in their garden, eating less meat and becoming more of an activist. Think about what you are spending your money on!

Every pound you spend is a vote for the future you want.

And it’s not just for us – it’s to ensure future generations have thriving and healthy places.

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Head Of Tech (Permanent)

CTO/Leads, Developers, GreenTech

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Mike Harley