Venture Capital Trends in Insurtech

Metabiota’s CEO Bill Rossi talks about trends in the Insurtech industry and the role epidemic analytics can play for insurance companies, intermediaries and corporates in the future. Original article:

Lessons Learned from Hurricane Andrew

Insurance Journal recently published a timely blog post from Metabiota’s Head of Product, Simon Tuck, about vital lessons learned from past hurricanes. Original article:

The Hajj: A Threat to Infectious Disease Prevention?

Outbreak News Today published Metabiota’s new blog post by Staff Epidemiologist, Jaclyn Guerraro, on the Hajj and infectious disease prevention. Original article:

Munich Re & In-Q-Tel Select Metabiota to Gain Deeper Insights into Epidemic Risk and Global Preparedness for Infectious Diseases

Metabiota Launches First Commercial Risk Modeling Platform and Preparedness Index to Help Insurers Understand and Underwrite Epidemic Risk SAN FRANCISCO – August 22, 2017 – Today, Metabiota, the pioneer in epidemic risk modeling, announced that two market innovators, Munich Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurers and expert on global risk solutions and In-Q-Tel, Inc. (IQT), the strategic investor that accelerates the development of technologies to support the U.S. intelligence community, have signed strategic agreements with Metabiota. The news comes as Metabiota commercially launches the industry’s first ever platform for estimating epidemic preparedness and risk, including the frequency, severity, duration and cost of outbreaks. With a powerful combination of epidemic risk analytics, historical data, disease scenarios and insights from public health analysts and global epidemiologists, Metabiota’s platform is enabling the insurance industry to offer new epidemic insurance solutions by delivering capabilities that allow insurers to better understand and underwrite risk. Nearly 100 years since the deadliest pandemic in history afflicted one-third of the global population, the world is still vulnerable to health risks, as evidenced by recent outbreaks of Zika, Avian Influenza, Ebola and the resurgence of previously dormant viruses like Measles and Cholera. In addition to its impact on human health, infectious diseases inflict a tremendous economic toll on national infrastructures. The Zika virus alone could end up costing Latin America and the Caribbean up to $18 billion, according to a report from the United Nations.  Metabiota’s platform is helping governments and organizations to better understand the threats posed by future outbreaks, while providing them with the data and modeling tools needed to gauge the potential financial impact of a major health event. “We believe that when risk can be properly assessed and mitigated by insurance, the world will be more prepared and able to manage these events,” said Bill Rossi, CEO of Metabiota. “At the same time, we’re helping the insurance industry build new revenue streams at a time when their core business is under threat by new business models and technologies. Metabiota’s use of big data and software to model epidemics is truly revolutionizing the insurance industry.” With an intuitive, cloud-based platform, Metabiota is providing risk managers and underwriters with unprecedented insight into how diseases propagate and help them quantify the risk posed by epidemics. The platform brings together a 100-year historical disease database with a unique catalog of more than 20 million risk scenarios describing the number of cases, deaths, hospitalizations, and employee absences to an epidemic event. “Metabiota’s analytics and intelligence help us to push the boundaries of insurability by protecting companies and local economies from the financial loss related to epidemics”, said Tom van den Brulle, Head of Innovation, Munich Re. “This really is the next frontier for the insurance industry – given the high risk of infectious disease outbreaks, it is imperative that we find new ways to manage and finance these risks for our customers.” “Infectious disease outbreaks present a growing security threat to the United States,” said Eugene Chiu, Partner, Investments, IQT. “Metabiota provides capabilities to better understand infectious disease risk via open source data fusion and sophisticated epidemic simulations.” Metabiota’s innovative approach to data includes a proprietary global preparedness index that measures national capacity to detect and respond to outbreaks. The Metabiota Preparedness Index empowers the insurance industry with more intelligence into how each country (and neighboring countries) are equipped to manage a health crisis, based on public health infrastructure, physical and communications infrastructure, bureaucratic and public management capacities, financial resources to underwrite disease response, and risk communication. The World Bank has referenced this Index as a possible way to better assess the future of risk. About Metabiota Metabiota is the pioneer in comprehensive risk analytics that help organizations and countries build resilience to epidemics and protect global public health. Built on a strong foundation of scientific expertise, including a worldwide network of on-the-ground experts, Metabiota delivers actionable, data-driven analytics to help countries and corporations mitigate complex health issues. With a strategic global presence and sustained partnerships, Metabiota’s agile approach helps identify, analyze and transfer the risk associated with biological threats. The company’s international footprint includes operations in nearly 20 countries and offices in San Francisco, Canada, Sierra Leone, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For more information, visit # # # MEDIA CONTACT: Aimee Eichelberger

The 7 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Building a New Category

Metabiota CEO Bill Rossi offers great advice in Small Biz Daily about the “7 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Building a New Category”. With over 100,000 unique visitors per month, Small Biz Daily is a popular business trade site originally developed by three former Entrepreneur Magazine writers. The site is well regarded for its content on startups, entrepreneurship and world of small businesses. The blog is an engaging piece that features the common missteps that startups can make when marching down their commercialization path. Bill includes such salient topics as "Going for the sharks…and ignoring the minnows," "Focusing too much on your competitors" and "Building a large sales force". ### View original article:

Data-Crunching Technology Spurs Insurance Dollars

Wall Street Journal’s VC Pro subscription news service published an important article today on the intersection between data technologies and the insurance industry. Entitled, “Data-Crunching Technology Spurs Insurance Dollars, A race to predict and head off emerging threats through data analysis,” this piece discusses several novel companies specializing in artificial intelligence, machine learning and modeling that are developing products to help insurance organizations better manage and mine data. Metabiota’s groundbreaking technology for understanding and evaluating infectious disease risk from an insurance and reinsurance perspective is cited in the article. An excerpt from the article is as follows: “Insurers are also turning to startups for help understanding the risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as Zika or Ebola. This helps them underwrite risk for countries and corporations seeking insurance policies that help them respond quickly to emerging disease threats. San Francisco-based Metabiota Inc., for example, is launching a platform for estimating epidemic preparedness and risk. Reinsurer Munich Re and In-Q-Tel, the strategic investor for the U.S. intelligence and defense communities, are using the platform to identify, quantify and mitigate infectious-disease risk.” ### View original article (paywall):

Is Your Company Prepared for a Pandemic?

In this new article co-written by Jim Toole, managing director at FTI Consulting Forensic & Litigation Consulting, and Metabiota Product Manager, Cristina Stefan, we learn that corporations have a number of important considerations to make when planning for, and mitigating the effects of, infectious disease events on their organizations. The piece lays out what is at stake for any corporate leader performing business continuity planning or enterprise resource management. Read here:

Five Ways Big Data is Transforming Epidemics has published new blogpost by Metabiota’s Senior Director of Data Science, Nita Madhav, about the critical ways in which Big Data is transforming epidemic mapping, modeling and preparedness for infectious disease events. Original article:

From Panic and Neglect to Investing in Health Security : Financing Pandemic Preparedness at a National Level

A new report by the World Bank’s International Working Group on Financing Preparedness proposes ways in which national governments and development partners can fund investments in country and regional preparedness as well as response capacities for pandemics and other health emergencies. It also calls for the development of insurance products and markets for pandemic risk. Metabiota’s Preparedness Index is cited and discussed. Original story:

With a New CEO, Metabiota Looks to New Markets for Its Epidemic Monitoring Toolkit

Bill Rossi, the new chief executive officer at Metabiota, believes that (unlikely as it seems) the insurance industry might be the key to stopping epidemic outbreaks worldwide — and that Metabiota would supply the monitoring tools to make the product work. Rossi, who quietly took the reins at the San Francisco-based company earlier in the year, said that a new product is being developed by international insurance companies alongside global financial institutions to respond to pandemic risk. The company’s chief executive said that the new policies will provide financing in the wake of deadly pandemics and encourage multi-national corporations and nation-states to invest in preventing the spread of disease. Metabiota launched its insurance product last month and has been pitching its services to insurers, nations, and companies ever since. Indeed, Metabiota is partnering with the African Risk Capacity (ARC) agency, an agency of the  African Union (AU) to help nations respond to threats. The former chief operating officer of Bidgely, an energy software company (backed by Khosla Ventures) that sold to utilities worldwide, and the former chief marketing officer at Enphase Energy, a solar monitoring solution. Perhaps most relevant, Rossi worked at Google selling productivity apps to enterprise customers. A graduate from Dartmouth with an MBA from Harvard, Metabiota’s new chief executive is focused on juicing the company’s growth after 8 years selling to the relatively staid government market. Rossi took over the executive role from co-chief executives Nathan Wolfe and Robert Mann, though Nathan still remains involved with the company. “Most of its history was in government services,” says Rossi. “Government services is a good market, but if the goal is to make the world resistant to epidemic risk and [the insurance product] is one way to make the world more resilient.” Interest in epidemic and pandemic risk insurance has been growing since the Ebola outbreak of 2014. Last year at the G7 finance summit in Japan, financial leaders from the world’s largest economies unveiled the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, a $500 million effort to make funds instantly available for curbing the spread of infectious diseases. Those public funds are being complimented by work insurers are already doing to sell sovereign wealth insurance for epidemic risk, Rossi said. There’s a potential for abuse in these kinds of policies which may provide a perverse incentive to governments which could conceivably profit on the back of insurance payouts in the event that a country is adversely affected by an epidemic (not to be too ghoulish about it). Rossi insists that the insurance policies will encourage countries to establish better monitoring and management tools so that they can respond to outbreaks before they become severe global pandemics. For Rossi and the team at Metabiota, it’s imperative that the governments of countries where these pandemics originate invest in early detection systems for when diseases begin to spread. “These global health threats represent a pretty sizable disruption,” says Rossi. “We work with sovereign nations and also the insurers who have the financial wherewithal to ensure that policies are put in place to prevent the spread of disease.” The threats aren’t academic. Earlier this month the World Health Organization confirmed an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo. So far, three deaths were connected to the virus, and another 21 suspected cases are being investigated. A two-year outbreak in West Africa which began in 2014 infected 28,000 people and resulted in 11,000 deaths. ### View original article on Techcrunch