SAN FRANCISCO – Kettle, a reinsurance startup that uses advanced deep learning to better protect people against the growing risks associated with climate change, has raised a $ 25 million Series A funding round led by Acrew Capital, with participation from Homebrew, True Ventures, Anthemis, Valor, DCVC, and LowerCarbon Capital.
Kettle brings cutting edge technology to 400 billion dollars-one year in the reinsurance industry, starting with California Forest fires. (Photo above: Kettle Risk Map) Industry saw a 68% drop in return on equity due to a threefold increase in disasters causing more than $ 1 billion of damage over the past 15 years according to NOAA. In 2021, we saw the Dixie and Caldor fires in California burn over 700,000 acres and destroy over 1,200 structures based on Calfire data.
Founded by Andrew Engler and Nathaniel Manning, Kettle is structured as a general reinsurance management agent who can underwrite these growing risks. Kettle also sets up its own risk entity. Kettle’s Engler has over a decade of experience in the insurance and reinsurance industries, most recently as vice president of digital at public insurer / reinsurer, Argo Group. Manning has spent years working with data for humanitarian efforts as CEO of Ushahidi, the world’s largest open source software platform for community crisis response, and as USAID’s chief data officer. .
“We are delighted to help provide insight and relief to California insurance market, ”Manning said.
“There are 14 million structures in California, and in 2020, around 11,500 of them burned, or less than 0.1%. While the risk of forest fires has certainly increased over the past decade, the key is to understand exactly where the risk lies. If we can do it, we can bring stability back to the California insurance market.
In 2020, Kettle’s model predicted that the fourteen largest fires, which accounted for 98% of the damage, were in the 20% of the areas most likely to burn. California one hundred million and more acres. In 2021, Kettle’s model predicted areas consumed by the Dixie and Caldor fires as some of the most dangerous parts of California.
Kettle’s proprietary technology and algorithms use terabytes of data from both public and private data sources, such as NOAA weather data and NASA’s MODIS and LIDAR satellites. Kettle’s neural networks run over 140 million model parameters to calculate the probabilities of fire damage at half a square mile resolution across the state.
“When you take a minute to think about it, it becomes very obvious why traditional reinsurers cannot accurately underwrite climate risk – their methodologies look to the past,” says Lauren Kolodny, partner at Acrew Capital. “And our climate is changing in ways that cannot be predicted on the basis of historical data. Kettle solves a massive global problem. And we’re excited to be deepening our partnership with this amazing team.