Previsico CEO Jonathan Jackson and Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Dapeng Yu.

Image: Previsico’s CEO Jonathan Jackson and Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Dapeng Yu.

University spinout Previsico targets US market with Innovate UK support

Loughborough University spinout Previsico has 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.

Underpinned by 20 years of academic research across 50 cities worldwide, with the support of the Cabinet Office, Met Office, and Environment Agency who conducted pilots in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester and Loughborough, Previsico has been on a fast-track since launch in November 2019, including going UK-wide in November 2019 to support insurers, brokers, and customers with ‘live actionable flood warnings’, including uniquely for surface water flooding.

The ‘Hot 100’ Insurtech company is headquartered in the University’s Incubator, LU Inc, on its Science and Enterprise Park LUSEP, where it employs a diverse, expanding, and highly skilled team with strong business acumen and research expertise.

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.

Previsico’s CEO Jonathan Jackson said: “The increasing catastrophic risk of flooding, including surface water flooding in the US, and worldwide, make this development very timely. We have big plans at Previsico, including our Series A round in 2021. The Innovate loan is a great facility to enable us, as an early-stage spinout, to accelerate our product development and growth, including in the US as a key target market for 2020.”

Previsico is unique in that it offers insurers the ability to alert customers of immediate risks to their properties, so they can move valuables to higher ground and set up temporary flood defences in the case of an imminent flood – a win-win for insurers and their customers.

Previsico can also provide insurers with an accessibility map in the case of flooding, so that claims teams more accurately understand where it has occurred, to reach affected properties and protect vulnerable customers. This will not only lead to a better service and happier customers, it will also enable an earlier indication of total losses, reduce fraud, and improve claims efficiency.

Utilising the latest geospatial technology for weather predictions, Previsico, in partnership with IBM, fills a big gap in the flood forecasting market with its 3rd generation solution. It is set to make a big impact on the insurance sector, including in the US where Previsico’s surface water flood modelling will be a major differentiator in the market.

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.”