Lemu selected for the next round of XPRIZE Rainforest

  • XPRIZE Rainforest is a USD $ 10 million prize purse for a four-year global competition to develop transformative, scalable and affordable technology to autonomously survey and monitor biodiversity in real-time.
  • Lemu is one of 34 teams selected from 17 different countries, chosen to advance to the next phase, among more than 303 teams that applied from 53 countries.

FRUTILLAR, CHILE — XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and operating incentive competitions to solve humanity’s grand challenges, officially announced today that Lemu, an atlas of the biosphere created by Odd Industries, is one of the solutions moving forward in the $10M XPRIZE Rainforest aimed at improving our understanding of the rainforest ecosystem.

“There has never been a more urgent time for our planet,” Peter Houlihan, Vice President of Biodiversity & Conservation at XPRIZE said. “These teams show great promise for developing exciting new approaches to enhance shared understandings of the planet’s most complex and biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems.”

In order to win the competition, the winning team will survey the most biodiversity contained in 100 hectares of tropical rainforest in 24 hours and produce the most impactful real time insights within 48 hours.

The contest was announced by XPRIZE in November 2019, with registration closing and the announcement of qualified teams happening now in 2021. The next phase will come in 2022, when 25 teams will qualify to compete in the Semifinals in 2023, at which time the first field tests will be held to select the 10 finalists. The last round will happen in 2024 at a secret location that will be disclosed shortly before the Finals.

“For all of us working at Lemu, it is amazing to know that we have been selected along with extraordinary teams, with solutions and members that we admire, looking for the best way to use the most advanced technology available to help bring nature online,” said Leo Prieto, founder of Lemu. “XPRIZE has shown that these challenges that require us to reach the limit of what is possible, manage to inspire and impact billions of people with each small advance that approaches the goal. With this edition focused on understanding the infinite complexity of the tropical rainforests, the impact will benefit everyone on this planet, not just people.”

Lemu is an atlas of the biosphere that uses countless geospatial data sources to identify, measure and understand the value that ecosystems generate every day. Using a strategy called “From Space to Soil”, Lemu processes sources such as satellite and hyperspectral imagery, LiDAR point clouds, open data from public and private sources, collective intelligence from citizen scientists, and measurements of environmental DNA obtained from water and soil, to name a few.

Rainforests are home to 80% of the documented species on our planet, yet today they represent half of the area they once had and continue to shrink due to the undervaluation that we give today to this critically important biome.

Lemu uses a collection of algorithms called LemuRank that unleashes the planet’s natural capital to demonstrate that the conservation and restoration of ecosystems are the best possible investment for the future of Earth.

XPRIZE will announce in mid-2022 the teams that will qualify for the Semifinals, but Lemu will be open to the public in late 2021 for the early invitation holders, who can already sign up on the waiting list at https://le.mu


XPRIZE, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is the global leader in designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. Active competitions include the $100M XPRIZE Carbon Removal, $15M XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion, $10 Million ANA Avatar XPRIZE and $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling. For more information, visit xprize.org.

About Odd Industries

Odd Industries is an ethically-driven artificial intelligence startup founded in 2018 and distributed in 9 cities on 3 continents with the aim of improving our world by bringing nature online. Odd builds Lemu, an atlas of the biosphere that uses the most advanced technology available to help make conservation the best investment possible. More information at https://le.mu