Full Stack Developer Kyryll Vynokurov and CEO Rolf Schmitz showcasing Linda Forest at the Digital Excellence Forum in Messukeskus, Helsinki.
After a successful funding round and a new partnership with Metsähallitus earlier this year, Takeoff Partners' portfolio company CollectiveCrunch releases its AI-powered SaaS platform for commercial use.
“Think Google Maps for forestry,” summarizes CEO and Co-founder Rolf Schmitz, when asked to explain the essence of what Linda Forest is. “Google Maps lets you plan your journey and directs you there hassle-free. With Linda Forest, you can target the wood resources you need, plan your harvest and harvest what you targeted.”
Indeed: looking at the interface, it does seem like a 3D-rendering of Google’s omnipresent product. Only instead of showing street data, it shows you the volume and quality of wood in the forests.
Linda Forest was commercially launched on September 19, 2019, at the Digital Excellence Forum in Helsinki, where the CollectiveCrunch team took the floor to show a demo of the product.
CollectiveCrunch is an AI leader in the forestry industry. The company collects climate, geo and process data and crunches this information into AI models for better prediction of forest inventories and forest management parameters. The product is called Linda Forest, and it is delivered via a SaaS platform.
For any business that is exposed to the unpredictability of nature, the potential financial impact of more accurate forecasting is massive. Using Linda Forest, customers make better buying and selling decisions, use wood-based raw material more efficiently, and overall reduce their costs. If the volumes are very large, even just a 1% systematic improvement in forecast accuracy will result in several millions of euros saved every year.
New hires and a high-profile partnership
The product launch comes at the tail end of a very forward-moving spring and summer for CollectiveCrunch.
Earlier in the year, the company successfully completed a funding round, raising a total of EUR 600,000, to increase their headcount and technical capacity.
Additionally, in June, CollectiveCrunch entered a remarkable partnership with Metsähallitus with the goal of improving harvesting and forest development planning through deep AI technology and big data analysis.
“We believe this to be the largest AI initiative in the forestry sector globally. Results from this close partnership will have a huge impact to the industry as a whole and benefit many across the value chain by utilizing Linda forest,” CollectiveCrunch’s Chief Product Officer Jarkko Lipponen says.
The pilot is planned to be launched by the end of 2019.
Plans for internationalization
CollectiveCrunch is currently serving clients in Finland, Sweden, and Estonia.
One of their clients is Setra, a large Swedish wood product company. According to Setra’s CDO, Axel Simonsson, they have been very happy with the progress of the on-going pilot project.
“CollectiveCrunch has acted as a change agent between us and our supplier, making us think outside the box,” he describes.
According to Rolf Schmitz, the short-term plan for CollectiveCrunch is to establish a solid foothold in the Nordics.
“The Nordic countries are early adaptors of technology so it has been a good place to start from,” he says.
“There has been some interest in Russia. Longer term, we will be looking to also enter the markets in Canada and the US.”
Rolf Schmitz pauses, considers, and adds:
“Also, Linda could be used to predict the risk of forest fires.”
That, truly, could have critical future applications for the forestry industry and beyond, especially on the international markets.