Reask gets Tencent backing for its AI catastrophe models

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Reask, a catastrophe modelling, climate analytics and data company that uses machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence, has gained a significant vote of confidence from Chinese technology giant Tencent, which has led a seed funding round for the company.

reask-logoReask is already making headway in the insurance-linked securities (ILS) market, having worked closely with Zurich-headquartered investment manager Twelve Capital and also with London-headquartered ILS investment specialist Securis Investment Partners.

The company also works with a range of insurance and reinsurance companies, including Swiss Re and AXA, and its focus on rethinking the way catastrophe models are created, as well as in the provision of real-time services that can support parametric risk transfer, are gaining increasing attention.

Tencent is a really significant backer and it’s clear the technology giant appreciates the Reask approach to catastrophe models and climate analytics.

“David Wallerstein, Chief Exploration Officer, Tencent, explained, “Artificial intelligence will be a critical tool to help humanity more accurately predict climate patterns and risks in the near future. In a dynamically-changing world, our forecasting tools must become more sophisticated.

“Reask has built a suite of products leveraging their climate forecasting engine for the insurance industry that are helping insurance companies accelerate the development of their climate-related offerings.

“The insurance industry will play an increasingly critical role in helping economies adjust and mitigate risks from climate-driven catastrophic events.

“We believe Reask is well positioned to partner and grow with the global insurance industry.”

The seed funding round will fund further investment in expertise and development at Reask, enabling it to serve more customers and create more models and analytics tools to support insurance, reinsurance and ILS interests.

Where advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, can really come into their own, is in the world of climate risk analytics and helping companies to gain a forward-looking view of their exposure and the level of risk their portfolios of assets, physical and otherwise, hold.

That can both better inform, but also stimulate and support the use of risk transfer to transfer climate related risks, which is a clear and significant opportunity and explains why major investors are keen to back companies building advanced methods to analyse catastrophe, weather and climate risk.

Incumbent insurance and reinsurance industry risk modellers do risk being left behind, as it is far harder for them to move quickly and introduce new risk modelling paradigms to the industry.

Thomas Loridan, CEO and Co-Founder of Reask, commented, “Reask is on a mission to be the leading provider of next-generation Nat Cat modelling, worldwide. We are already gaining great traction in the market with our unique AI-based solutions, and are thrilled that our high-profile investors have recognised this with their investments supporting the next stage of our growth strategy.

“There are three key purposes for the funding: technical – building out our science and AI teams to continue to expand our model range; sales and marketing – enhancing our business development and account management team; and operations – strengthening our internal capabilities to help build our business.”

Alongside Tencent, the seed funding round was also supported by SV Angel and Hawktail.

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