London-based start-up Hero Labs has secured £2.5m in seed funding.

The tech firm uses AI to help prevent flooding and water wastage with artificial intelligence, a market which costs the UK insurers an estimated £1bn per year.

The funding is led by Earthworm Group, with a further £300,000 through an EU innovation grant and private investors.

The funding will allow Hero Labs to accelerate development of a new product, which it calls the UK’s first smart leak defence system ‘Sonic’.

The Sonic app sends an alert via an app, and can automatically shut off the water supply when a leak is detected.

“This funding marks a successful first chapter for Hero Labs,” said Krystian Zajac, founder and CEO of Hero Labs.

“Having Earthworm Group as our leading investor is a great fit for us, as it only invests in businesses who are a force for social good or benefiting the environment.

“Our mission at Hero Labs is to solve real-life problems through tech, and combating water leaks with Sonic is just the tip of the iceberg. This will allow us to bring even more solutions to consumers and businesses”.

Alongside the funding, Earthworm’s head of projects and partnerships Will Brocklebank, will join the board at Hero Labs.

 “Earthworm invests in businesses that will bring a positive change for the environment,” said Brocklebank.

“This is why we chose to support Hero Labs, as we believe it is one of the most exciting companies in this space that will have a real impact on reducing water waste in the UK.

“Hero Labs has a huge potential to grow to address a pressing environmental issue.”