SOMPO Holdings, one of Japan’s largest insurers, is investing an additional $45 million in One Concern, Inc., an AI startup focused on building the global resilience market. The money is part of an expanded partnership between the two companies.
The deal is designed to help Silicon Valley-based One Concern expand its core capabilities in AI-focused resilience products and services, as well as disaster mitigation technologies, according to the funding announcement.
Ahmad Wani, CEO and co-founder oaf One Concern, said the SOMPO partnership is growing along with an increased global emphasis on environmental, social and governance criteria for socially conscious investments. Along side that, he added, is a recognition of addressing increasing climate and disaster threats.
[For more: One Concern: Using AI for Good]
“The next phase of our partnership with SOMPO will lay the foundation for a broader resilience marketplace, where we’ll be able to uncover unknown risks from climate change and natural disasters so that our customers can mitigate, transfer or avoid those risks,” Wani said in prepared remarks. “We see this as a transformational opportunity for SOMPO and One Concern as it’s clear that demand for resilient solutions is taking off.”
The additional SOMPO investment is worth more than $100 million to One Concern as part of a multi-year strategic partnership with SOMPO, the companies said. SOMPO estimates the market potential for this in Japan to be at least $1 billion annually.
“Climate change has a major impact on our society, and we’re backing One Concern’s vision for resilience as part of our commitment to build climate mitigation solutions,” Keiji Nishizawa, CEO, SOMPO Japan, said in prepared remarks. “SOMPO and One Concern will together adopt new methods of predicting and preventing catastrophic failures before they occur, not just understanding and covering risks after disasters. We’re fully committed to this multi-year journey with One Concern to make Japan and our society more resilient to climate change.”
One Concern’s seismic and flood technology, coupled with SOMPO’s local knowledge is designed to help emergency management officials understand their risk exposure to extreme flooding and powerful earthquakes. One Concern’s probabilistic modeling can show the potential impact on a local community, the companies said. The next phase of the companies’ partnership will expand the project to six or more cities in Japan and for promotion of resilience solutions to the private sector in Japan.
One Concern describes itself as “a Resilience-as-a-Service solution that brings disaster science together with machine learning for better decision making.” The company quantifies resilience from catastrophic perils, empowering leaders to measure, mitigate, and monetize risk so disasters aren’t so disastrous.
Other investors backing the company include American Family Insurance.
Wani explained during a 2019 Carrier Management interview that the Palo Alto-based company began its existence as an artificial intelligence company focused on natural disasters. Its initial customers included city governments in places including San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, The technology was in use for planning and response training, though insurers are also a target customer base.
Source: SOMPO Holdings, One Concern