Matthew Neville

Climate change focussed insurtech closes funding round with support from European Space Agency

London based insurtech startup BirdsEyeView has closed a seed funding round led by SFC Capital, with the funds matched by the European Space Agency (ESA). BirdsEyeView uses satellite data to structure insurance solutions for severe weather.

The funding will be used to grow the team, further develop BirdsEyeView’s tech and match ESA funding. Extreme and volatile weather changes brought about by climate change are said to be increasing in both frequency and severity, with global economic losses from natural catastrophes reaching $190bn in 2020, out of which $101bn were uninsured.

Climate change has become a “systemic risk” and, together with socio-economic developments, these types of uninsured losses continue to rise. Traditional insurance alone cannot cover losses brought on by climate change-induced extreme weather changes.

Parametric insurance is often used by larger companies to protect their businesses against natural disasters and severe weather events, but these have so far not been an option for SMEs, and distribution strategies have been poor.

Providing SMEs access to weather-based parametric insurance products is becoming increasingly important, especially in sectors such as events organisation. Event cancellation policies that protect event organisers in cases where events are cancelled due to extreme weather conditions are essential for businesses, most of which are SMEs, to survive.

BirdsEyeView structures weather-based events insurance products using its proprietary algorithmic underwriting engine, RAPTOR, with the objective of providing SMEs access to weather-based events insurance products.

This technology uses meteorological data gathered by the likes of the European Space Agency, NASA and this is then processed to structure parametric products.

James Rendell, CEO and co-founder of BirdsEyeView, commented: “We are very excited about working with SFC Capital to further develop our RAPTOR technology, which is going to help both insurers and policy holders get better and more accurate insurance services.

“SFC has a lot of experience working with early stage startups and their knowledge will be very useful as we continue to develop the technology and grow as a business.”

Ed Stevenson, investment manager at SFC Capital, added: “The insurance industry is changing and adapting to the world as it evolves. Climate change is a challenge for many industries and it is innovative technology like BirdsEyeView that will help the industry to move forward.”

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