Agri-insurtech Startup IBISA Raises Seed Funding From Ankur Capital The company claims to be on a mission to empower the agri value chain players with innovative weather protection insurance solutions

By Soumya Duggal

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Agri insurtech startup IBISA announced that Ankur Capital, a major early-stage venture capital fund focused on transformative technologies in deeptech and climate tech, has joined its seed round. Luxembourg-based IBISA is on a mission to empower the agri value chain players with innovative weather protection insurance solutions, said a statement.

According to some reports, 70 per cent of the global food supply comes from smallholder farmers and more than 50 per cent of the Indian workforce is into agriculture and allied sectors that contribute to just 20 per cent of India's GDP. With climate change happening at a rapid scale, most of these smallholder farmers are vulnerable to unforeseen climatic conditions that lead to damage of crops. It is not that there are not any insurance solutions to cater that, but there is a huge gap between the cost of insurance and the willingness to pay premiums and the relevance of the existing insurance products and the need of the farmers.

"The unavailability of data has hampered the growth of the agricultural insurance industry in developing countries for decades. Legacy crop insurance involved long manual processes making them impractical for developing markets where smallholder farming is the norm, and parametric insurance has historically been unviable due to the lack of detailed climate-related datasets. We are excited to partner with IBISA to transform the scale of available parametric insurance options in countries like India with a vast addressable market," said Ritu Verma, partner, Ankur Capital.

"Farming is an integral part of both our societal and economic infrastructure. The impact that the war in Ukraine is having on food prices and food security seriously underscores the importance of global agriculture. And yet the support isn't there. With IBISA, we sought to create technology that would help reduce costs for the active players in the insurance space. Finding a way to responsibly protect farmers in the event of extreme weather, by slashing distribution and operating costs, making it affordable to many groups in the value chain. And it's no small challenge. But we're already seeing results. A small evidence of our success is the fact that when the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Odette in Dec'21, our insurance partner, CLIMBS was able to do payouts within 10 days after the typhoon hit Philippines with IBISA's weather protection coverage in place," said Maria Mateo Iborra, CEO and co-founder, IBISA.

Founded in 2019, IBISA started its operations in India with the DHAN Foundation to provide parametric insurance against drought coverage in Tamil Nadu. Fast forward to now, IBISA is scaling its operations in India with operations in Odisha, Karnataka, and Telangana for coverage against excess rainfall and wind speed and drought, states the company. IBISA opened a registered office in Bengaluru in February 2022.

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