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Understory: Providing Insurance Solutions Built for The Era of Climate Change

Image Credits: Understory
By: Headliners News / June 27, 2024

Meet Understory, a tech startup initially focused on deploying ground-level weather stations for real-time weather tracking, has expanded its horizons into insurance and now renewable energy with a recent $15 million Series A funding round led by True Ventures and Prelude Ventures.

Founded in 2014 by Alex Kubicek and Bryan Dow, Understory began by developing advanced weather stations called Dot, capable of measuring wind, rain, hail, temperature, pressure, and humidity at an astonishing rate of 125,000 times per second. These weather stations provided detailed, real-time data that allowed Understory to build global catastrophe models, enhancing understanding and management of weather-related risks for various industries.

Over the years, Understory raised approximately $40 million in funding, leveraging its extensive data to develop sophisticated catastrophe models validated by reinsurance partners. This enabled the company to pivot into the insurance sector, offering innovative parametric insurance solutions. For instance, its Dealers Open Lot insurance product helped U.S. auto dealers mitigate risks associated with severe weather events, saving clients significant sums by providing early notifications and enabling proactive risk management.

With a track record of impressive growth, including 500% year-over-year, Understory has now set its sights on the renewable energy sector. The company’s latest funding round will support its new product aimed at solar farms, leveraging its proprietary technology to mitigate weather-related risks such as hail damage. By predicting weather events with up to 45 minutes of notice, Understory’s technology allows solar farm operators to take preemptive measures like stowing or adjusting panels, thereby reducing potential losses significantly.

According to Understory, their technology has the potential to cut hail repair costs for solar farms by 50%, translating potentially catastrophic losses into manageable expenses. This capability is crucial for the renewable energy sector, especially as climate change increases the frequency and severity of weather events.

The current solar industry is in a bit of crisis right now, as Understory plays a critical role in mitigating risks that could otherwise jeopardize large-scale solar projects. By harnessing its advanced weather prediction capabilities, Understory aims to not only protect solar infrastructure but also support the industry’s growth amidst challenging environmental conditions.

With its expansion into renewable energy, Understory continues to demonstrate the transformative impact of technology on traditional industries, paving the way for more resilient and sustainable practices in the face of evolving climate challenges.

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