London-based Cervest, a real-time climate forecasting platform, secured £3.7 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Future Positive Capital with support from Astanor Ventures. Earth Science AI is the only platform capable of predicting hours, weeks or decades in advance how the climate will impact cities and countries, businesses and governments. The platform combines research and modelling techniques from Earth sciences – including atmospheric science, meteorology, hydrology and agronomy – with artificial intelligence, imaging, machine learning and Bayesian statistics. The result is that it can predict climate impact, from gradual (soil changes) to sudden (natural disasters), which allows users to gauge political and economic consequences and manage risk.
Such “climate simulations” can be generated for individual plots of land or entire countries, with a variety of applications, including in insurance, food, infrastructure, investment, and climate and security policy.
Iggy Bassi, founder and CEO, explained: “Our world-class team has designed an Earth Science AI platform to quantify both short- and long-range risks to ensure mission-critical decisions are informed in real time. The potential is huge to radically alter the ability to quantify and personalise interconnected risks for users across any space and time at low cost and at mass scale.”
Indeed, the platform’s unique selling point is its ability to transform decision making. A customer can run vast numbers of simulations on specific regions to show all the possible outcomes. The company provided this question as an example query: “Where should we source maize from in 2022 if the temperature in a region rises by 2-degrees?” The team behind the platform hails from over 30 universities, including Imperial College, the Alan Turing Institute, Cambridge, UCL, Harvard and Oxford. Cervest aims to release a beta version in the first quarter of 2020, designed specifically for risk practitioners in the financial, insurance, government and CPG sectors. Focusing on European markets for now, the company is on track to have all of Europe mapped before the beta launch; it will map the rest of the world after that. Commenting on the investment, Bassi said, “We are delighted Future Positive Capital and Astanor Ventures have joined our journey. Our goal is to empower everyone to make informed decisions that improve the long-term resilience of our planet. Today decision-makers are struggling with climate uncertainty and extreme events and how they are affecting their business operations, assets, investments, or policy choices.” Sofia Hmich, founder of Future Positive Capital said: "Our mission is to back companies that use deep tech – and the sharpest and most ambitious minds – to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Making crucial decisions in the face of climate uncertainty is one of them and Cervest is doing just that. With reports suggesting we have fewer than 60 years of farming left unless drastic action is taken, the need for science-backed decisions could not be greater. Businesses and policy makers hold the key to change and with access to Cervest’s proprietary AI technology they can start to make that change a reality at low cost – before it’s too late.”