Portfolio #climate tech
Read time: 02'28''
19 September 2023
Meet ClimateMaps, measuring Green House Gases with satellites and AI

Meet ClimateMaps, measuring Green House Gases with satellites and AI

The global climate tech sector has never been more buoyant. But innovation in air quality has been slower. With Breathable cities, designed by Growth Studio we met the clean air startups tackling the devastating effects of air pollution that kills 7 million people worldwide every year and today we introduce Massoud Maqbool, CEO of ClimateMaps.

Climate has changed. We want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. The World Bank and European Space Agency invited bids for a €1.5M climate change project, which required validating emissions from countries signed up to the UNFCCC. We created a bid with ICF, but were unsuccessful. We decided we wanted to continue working on the problem and created ClimateMaps.

Tell me about your business, what is it, what it aims to achieve, who you work with and how you reach customers?

We invented a way of measuring Green House Gas emissions, using public multispectral satellites and AI, with ~98% accuracy and 10 meter resolution. Something both NASA and ESA told us they had also tried to do, but failed. We use our solution to measure GHG emissions in major cities around the world, to identify the top sources of pollution. 

We are able to provide 6 years of weekly, historical emissions, globally. Our mission to accelerate emissions reduction, by open-sourcing large data sets. We are part of the Breathable Cities Accelerator and are supported by AWS. We are launching an Early Access Program for our SaaS Emissions & ESG Analytics Dashboard.

Tell us about your working culture?

We leverage both in-person and remote working. We’ve all worked for bad bosses at large corporations, so we make sure we don’t replicate anything of that of that nature.

How are you funded?

Bootstrapped and grant.

What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome it?

Our solution and accuracy is ‘unbelievable’ for some. So we have signed a contract with a world famous university (name starts with letter ‘C’), to conduct an independent evaluation of our solution and accuracy.

How does Climate maps answer an unmet need?

At present countries, cities and corporations all (under) estimate their emissions. There is wide spread acceptance this is inaccurate, this is referred to as the ‘accuracy gap’. This gap represents risk and is bad for the planet, since it means everybody is polluting more than they are reporting.

What’s in store for the future?

We are in discussions with several governments (national and city) and corporations to pilot our solution. We aim to become a reference standard for measuring GHG emissions.

What one piece of advice would you give to other future founders?

Entrepreneurship is a ‘contact’ sport. You have to get out there and rub shoulders. Some times you will get knocked down, some times you will be picked up. Try to enjoy it;-)

And finally, a more personal question – what’s your daily rule and the rules you are living by at the moment?

Try and do more than I did yesterday, nudge us further forward. When I get knocked down, smile and get back up…try to enjoy it;-)

Massoud Maqbool is the CEO of ClimateMaps.

Discover Breathable Cities
Breathable Cities is the world’s largest clean air accelerator programme, made in London. It’s been designed by Growth Studio, supported by Impact in Urban Health with a mutual mission to help accelerate startups tackle air pollution and secure fast growth.
Growth Studio designs and implements planet friendly startup and scaleup accelerator programmes worldwide. With over 700 startups in 45 countries, Breathable Cities is their latest programme focused entirely on accelerating the success of clean air startups.
Meet the Breathable Cities Startups at their Demo Day on 11th October. Register Here!