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Sille Space: providing new insight into infrastructure risk

The Lloyd’s Lab – the home of Insurtech at Lloyd’s – helped Sille Space launch their innovative low-cost structural survey tool for insurers around the globe. The detailed and vital structural data they provide helps insurers make decisions faster – reducing costs, increasing loss prevention, and forming stronger client relationships.

Identifying insurance applications for existing technology

Sille Space was part of a Lloyd’s Lab cohort in early 2020.  The company had already perfected a technique for assessing building structures using radar-images from two satellites, which allowed them to quantify how a structure (such as a tower block, production plant or a dam) moved over time.  The images are amazingly accurate – within 3mm – and enable the team to predict instability, movement or collapse, grading the risk on a three-point scale.

Sille Space originally focused on providing analysis to infrastructure owners but had seen that there might also be a use case for insurance. However, without insurance backgrounds themselves, they had no idea how to connect to the industry, how to devise a product or how to price it.

Guayanilla Port, Puerto Rico

Pre and Post cat assessment 4th January 2020 and 9th April 2020 following an earthquake magnitude 6.4  

The benefits of the Lloyd’s Lab experience

Lloyd’s Lab helped Sille Space to solve all these problems.  The Sille Space team was paired with a group of industry mentors that included a risk manager, an underwriter and an accountant.  The mentors helped them create a viable product: individual reports created on request for insurers, ranking a risk for structural safety and movement.  

Sille Space’s technology allowed commercial property and infrastructure insurers to move from the dark ages to digital in one step.  Instead of commissioning physical surveys of buildings and structures around the world (costly and slow), insurers can access a remote survey based on real data with increased accuracy and at a fraction of the cost.  This provides a whole new level of understanding about which risks are structurally safe to underwrite.

Everyone immediately ‘got’ the potential and committed to bringing it into the market. The innovative product we developed in the Lab has allowed insurers to take a bolder line on particular risks, with more confidence in the risk factors of a structure. Most significantly, both insurers and clients can reduce engineering costs to a fraction of previous levels; and both parties benefit from faster decision-making, with a survey accessible within 1-2 days.
Ed Gaze, Manager of the Lloyd’s Lab

Once the product was ready to present to the market, the Lab helped Sille Space connect with real buyers informally through their mentors and the contacts snowballed. By the end of the Lab programme, Sille Space were in negotiations with half a dozen insurers, and the team have since signed a number of commercial contracts with large insurers.

The Lloyd’s Lab understood and loved our technology and their team enabled our innovation, helping us to move from having made a few dozen building assessments to a situation where we have now conducted over a thousand analyses. Our success has meant that we have refocused our business model primarily into this sector, an amazing step for us to take so quickly. Our mentors helped us to get things in order commercially and to grow fast. They and the Lab team’s market knowledge helped us to bring to market an innovation that changed working processes for our clients incredibly quickly.
Reijo Pold, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Sille.Space