AI-Driven Adaptive Infrastructure Startup Focused On Climate Resilience Raises $3.5 Million

Is the future of climate resiliency getting built right now in North Carolina? The team behind Natrx thinks so, and they just landed a large seed investment to continue to grow its “Living Shorelines” and Dry FormingTM advanced manufacturing technology.  

The startup, which builds nature-based technology and manufacturing products to improve coastal restoration and resiliency, just announced it closed a $3.5 million oversubscribed seed funding round from London-based Ponderosa Ventures and Raleigh-based Oval Park Capital. 

Investment firms and companies Fulcrum Financial Partners, Silverstrand Capital, and TITAN Cement also joined the round. 

This brings the startup’s total amount of outside capital raised to $5.2 million, according to the team. Previous local investors include NCIDEA and the Triangle Tweener Fund. 

There is a long list of use cases for Natrx’s products. Dylan DiBona, Natrx’s Brand and Marketing Lead, said that customers range from private landowners to coastal asset holders to conservation organizations and governmental entities, including names like Ducks Unlimited, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Coastal Conservation Association, alongside large energy companies. 

“Natrx often works in partnership with coastal engineers and marine contractors to bring these projects to life,” he added. 


Natrx’s work can be broken down into three separate parts: Assess, Address, and Appraise. 

After using artificial intelligence to identify coastal risks, Natrx addresses the issues with “custom-designed and manufactured, nature-compatible structures” while appraising the “financial and ecological benefits” of the project.

Founded in 2018 in North Carolina’s Triangle, the founding team of Leonard Nelson and Matt Campbell both are graduates of North Carolina State University. 

As a coastal state, North Carolina serves as a unique place to build such a software company building at the intersection of manufacturing and sustainability tech. The state has a population of around 1.2 million people living on its coasts and the coastal economy accounts for $46 billion of the state’s gross domestic product. 

Coastline resilience and adaptation challenges exist everywhere but it’s a very big deal in North Carolina. Natrx is part of an ecosystem of people, science and technology pushing coastal resilience efforts forward,” DiBona added. 

But, of course, it is not just North Carolina that is dealing with coastal erosion issues. The team says recent Natrx projects have started in Louisiana and Hawaii.

“Rising seas and increased storm intensity already plague coastal communities. Natrx offers a much-needed solution to protect homes, communities, and infrastructure more cost-effectively and in collaboration with biodiversity, leading to significantly better outcomes,” said Ponderosa co-founder and lead investor Evi Steyer. “With coastal climate risk affecting over half the world’s population, Natrx is positioned for long-term growth and commercial success.”