Lloyd’s lab alumni firm ValueSpace tells Insurance Times why it returned to the accelerator for cohort 10 and how it hopes to close the liability protection gap 

ValueSpace made its return to Lloyd’s Lab’s cohort 10 in March 2023 as one of the 12 firms selected for the accelerator programme.

Having previously been a part of the insurtech acclerator, many insurers are already using the firm’s core product and now want more from the firm.

The insurtech – which delivers satellite risk assessment for dams and mines when they reach “alert age” – is now on a mission to deliver this to its clients, alongside plans to help close the liability protection gap.

Falling under the European digital and climate solutions theme of Lloyd’s Lab’s tenth cohort, the insurtech has made plans to offer additional capabilities for its risk assessments on dams and mines that incorporate the insurance supply chain more extensively, alongside more information on data and modelling.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, ValueSpace founder and chief strategy officer Reijo Pold said: “As the market has given us signals in terms of what they want to do next, it only makes sense to do this with [Lloyd’s Lab] again, because we know that this is not going to be easy. So we want the best mentors with us.”

In April 2020, ValueSpace was also one of 12 insurtechs involved in cohort four, when it was known as Sille.Space before later changing its name.

Pold added: “Since then, insurance providers’ message to us has been clear – they like the risk assessments that are delivered on an asset and portfolio level.

”They understand it, we deliver, and it works well. We want to provide [insurers] with more information on liability risk for some of these infrastructure assets.

“But now they want additional capabilities being incorporated to capture more of the insurance supply chain and that’s why we’re back at Lloyd’s Lab as part of cohort 10.”

The end of May marked a mid-point for Lloyd’s Lab’ cohort 10 in its 10-week accelerator programme.

Mind the gap

Every dam has an “alert age” at which the risk of it failing becomes worth investigating, which is a 50-year threshold. After this point, problems can arise.

Pold explained: “By understanding what happens or what could happen near those [infrastructure] assets, we can also provide the same information for ESG requirements as well, because it’s preventative.

“It’s good governance in terms of managing these large assets and helping insurers help clients as well as the owners of these assets have a better grasp on the risk.”

For Pold, preventative data on dams can allow insurers to be “a real partner” for the the firm and “not just kind of a pay-out machine” when claims occur.

He continued: “There’s a rather large liability protection gap in the world today. Liability insurance is part of that package for the dam owner and can cost upwards of £150m if a loss event materialises, so we are trying to close this gap.

“From an environmental perspective, it’s important because if these losses are not prevented untold damage happens. Not only does it cost hundreds of millions, but also lives are lost sometimes and ecological damage as a result is absolutely huge – preventing that is really key.”

For example, Swiss Re Institute revealed in March 2021 in its Sigma Natural Catastrophe report that natural catastrophes caused global economic losses in the region of $190bn (£151bn) in 2020, while the insurance sector only protected $81bn (£64.52bn) of that total.

The insurtech also aims to target reinsurers and brokers with its refreshed proposition.

Spun out

Since ValueSpace was a member of cohort four in 2020, Pold now deems the insurtech “a new entity” compared to its old self. 

He explained: “But the genesis of what we do today and everything we have done has been a direct result of cohort four.

”We focus on the insurance industry, hence the name ValueSpace, because we evaluate assets and from there the value of the insurance contracts and the risk is determined. We changed the name because it is more palatable in general and secondly because it’s completely flipped focus on the insurance and finance industry.”

Pold explained that when the insurtech “spun out” last year, it was able to acquire technology which then led to a name change as a standalone entity.

Since then, the firm has closed an oversubscribed seed funding round worth €2.1m (£1.8m) to accelerate its growth in May 2023 after gathering investors.

Last year, ValueSpace also joined the UK government’s UK-US insurtech corridor after it was chosen by the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) due to its ability to use satelite technology to inform risks and underwriting decisions.