Loughborough Alumni

News

30 Jun 2020

Alumnus speaks to us about flood forecasting

Alumnus Avi Baruch is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Previsico, a leading flood forecasting company who aim to reduce the impact of flooding globally by providing real-time street level flood warnings.

The company was founded in 2019 as a spin-out from Loughborough University, and have since received funding from the University, Innovate UK and Advantage Business Angels.

Avi tells us:

“Our cutting-edge FloodMap Live technology is underpinned by two decades of research at Loughborough University.

“This forecasts up to 48 hours in advance, using hyperlocal weather forecasts and nowcasts.

“Crucially, these cover surface water flooding as well as small watercourses, which are missed from existing tools”.

The company recently reached another significant milestone in securing a £700k loan from Innovate UK, and is now targeting the US market with its unique 3rd generation live flood forecasting technology, and a Series A funding round in 2021.

The Innovate UK loan will support: accelerated product development to improve Previsico’s accuracy and speed; more proof of concept trials with insurers; collaboration with the Lloyd’s Lab to deliver value-added services in underwriting, loss mitigation, and claims; and continued expansion, including in the US, where there is an urgent need for surface water flood modelling.

Loughborough University Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise Professor Tracy Bhamra said: “With Innovate UK’s support, Previsico will continue to build capability and accelerate adoption of its unique surface water flood forecasting technology for maximum societal and economic impact, as well as generating skilled employment to boost the regional economy.”

Previsico is a member of of LU Inc., the University’s business incubator that unites its graduate and academic entrepreneurs with founders from across the region and beyond to create a rich, vibrant and supportive start-up community on LUSEP, the University’s Science and Enterprise Park.

The company recently led research which warns of the impact of floods to emergency response times, which revealed that first responders can struggle to reach urgent cases. Previsico were also awarded at the Leicestershire Live Innovation Awards earlier this year.

Avi completed his Ph.D. in Geography in 2019.

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