Flood Modelling Business Fathom Gets Investment From Moody’s

Bristol-based Fathom has picked up an undisclosed amount to support its ambitions in the world of water risk intelligence

Bristol-based flood modelling business Fathom has picked up an undisclosed amount of investment from US ratings company Moody’s.

The investment supports Fathom’s aim of doing well in the world of water risk intelligence. The company is in a buoyant mood as it reckons this investment shows the “growing significance and impact” that flooding due to climate change has on the global financial landscape as well as government ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) policy decisions. As part of the deal, Moody’s will assume one seat on Fathom’s Board of Directors.

There are no specifics but the investment will be used to grow Fathom’s presence in global markets, across multiple sectors including (re)insurance, corporate risk management, financial services and disaster response.

Founded in 2013 by a team of academics from the University of Bristol’s Hydrology Research Group, Fathom’s data is used in climate risk decision making for its customers and partners in (re)insurance, banking, engineering and corporate risk management. Customers include Microsoft, Nasdaq, Aon and The World Bank. A case study on its website is for Canopius, a Lloyd’s of London insurance syndicate.

Dr Andrew Smith and Dr Chris Sampson, Co-Founders at Fathom, comment: “Our team of scientists and researchers constantly push the boundaries of flood mapping and risk data. Moody’s in-depth industry knowledge will help us to reach new markets and countries where this detailed level of flood data is urgently required.”

Tech-focused investment bank ICON Corporate Finance acted as exclusive financial adviser to Fathom.

Nicky Cotter, Head of Fintech at ICON, notes that Fathom “appealed to a wide range of investors including world class VC and CVC leaders from Silicon Valley to New York and London”.

Fathom’s UK flood model uses multiple climate change scenarios to predict the future impact of flooding and enable the calculation of incumbent financial losses. The model, launched in early 2021, revealed that the number of properties in Britain at substantial risk of flooding will rise by 24% to 1.35 million over the next 30 years due to climate change.

According to the company, natural disasters in 2020 produced an estimated economic loss of $210 billion (£151.7 billion), up 26% from 2019. Of this, flooding in China was responsible for the highest loss from an individual event of $17 billion (£12.3 billion).

Fathom notes that losses are expected to rise due to the increasing unpredictability and severity of extreme weather events.

The Right Climate for Startups

With so many issues and news stories focusing on the world’s climate, it is not that surprising to see a number of relevant tech startups springing up.

Last month, eWeek UK looked at ‘10 Tech Startups to Watch in 2021’. Two of those names were very much involved with climate challenges.

Climate X is a London-based start-up that provides climate data and analytics, quantifying how different climate-change pathways could result in physical risks until 2100 (the probability and severity of extreme weather events). It wants to bring all this into the real world by calculating a £/$ impact to assets affected by those events.

The firm explains that the projections are done at scale – “running calculations automatically across millions of assets anywhere in the world”. The plan is to help companies identify climate related-risks, build climate-resilient business strategies and comply with incoming regulatory requirements.

Climate X was founded in December 2020 by Kamil Kluza and Lukky Ahmed. It secured £1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round.

Over in Edinburgh, Looper was founded in June this year by Shashwat Ganguly and Yiqiang Zhao.

Looper offers AI-powered B2B SaaS software to automate building carbon calculation. The start-up says its web-based performance analysis software can help architects and sustainability specialists accelerate the design validation process.

By using its explainable AI, the start-up will simulate “millions of design possibilities” based on its database and suggest several alternative options to assist architects.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK. He has 18 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.
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