Bloomberg Línea — Raincoat, a Puerto Rico-based startup that develops scalable weather insurance solutions that enable the processing of instant individual claims, has raised a $4.5 million seed round, led by insurance technology investor Anthemis, and which includes backing from SoftBank Group’s SB Opportunity Fund.
Also participating in the seed round were Puerto Rica’s Banco Popular, Chilean financial group Consorcio, Miami-based 305 Ventures, and deep tech-focused Divergent Capital.
Based on the parametric insurance concept, with its ultra-simplified policy design and payment mechanisms, Raincoat’s weather insurance solutions aim to provide governments, financial institutions and insurers with end-to-end automated products to protect people affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes or floods.
Puerto Rico lies in the path of tropical hurricanes in the Caribbean, and Raincoat was launched in a bid to provide a new generation of parametric insurance at scale, protecting people from the more than 850 weather disasters that occur annually in that region.
Raincoat was founded in response to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which struck Puerto Rico in 2017, leaving millions without power and water for months, with thousands of homes and businesses severely affected.
Puerto Rico residents, including entrepreneurs, had to endure a slow and cumbersome claims process to find out if they would receive payments following the disaster However, after a prolonged period, most claims were denied, and three years later there was still $1.6 billion in unpaid insurance claims on the island alone.
Raincoat’s investment round comes at a difficult time for startups in Latin America, and Puerto Rico is not one of the most likely territories to attract investment.
According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Puerto Rico 2020, for ease of access to entrepreneurial financing, the country’s score increased from 3.4 in 2019 to 3.6 in 2020.
This data places Puerto Rico 34th among GEM economies: significantly below the United States (5.6), although close to Mexico’s score of 3.8.
How does Raincoat work?
The startup develops the infrastructure and capabilities needed to provide a scalable, automated weather-insurance solution that companies and public entities can offer to people who need coverage in the event of a natural disaster.
“While fully automated insurance is the key to insuring the most vulnerable against increasingly frequent weather disasters, the obstacles to implementing these programs at scale are incredibly complex,” Jonathan Gonzalez, co-founder and CEO of Raincoat, said during in the announcement of the round. “Our team delivers a fully operational and tailored solution that can be integrated into our partners’ existing channels, making it easier for people to respond to claims.”
Raincoat’s products aim to help promote adaptation to global climate changes close the persistent global coverage gap.
Currently, Raincoat is working with international insurers and governments around the world to protect farmers and people from catastrophic weather conditions that affect their businesses.
The startup also has active corporate projects in Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Mexico and Colombia.
With this round of funding, Raincoat seeks to expand its services worldwide, providing a solution for the more than three billion people and 120 million businesses at risk of being affected by natural disasters.
Raincoat’s solutions have been used for large-scale implementations, such as the Tripartite IDF project in Mexico, whose participants include the Mexican government, UNDP, AXA, Paribas Group, Guy Carpenter, Swiss Re and Munich Re.
Read more at Bloomberg.com