This pitch deck helped Cervest, which predicts climate damage to real estate, raise $30 million from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and other investors

Iggy Bassi, CEO and founder of Cervest
  • Climate-risk software maker Cervest said on Thursday that it raised a $30 million Series A round.
  • The round was led by UK investors Draper Esprit and includes Salesforce billionaire Marc Benioff.
  • Cervest founder and CEO Iggy Bassi walked Insider through the pitch deck he used to raise the round.

Cervest, a company that creates data analysis tools to forecast the impact of climate change on real estate, announced on Thursday that it has raised a $30 million Series A round.

Led by UK-based venture firm Draper Esprit, the round also includes funding from UNTITLED, the venture fund of Swedish food packaging heir Magnus Rausing, and TIME Ventures, the fund of Salesforce billionaire Marc Benioff. It also includes returning investors Atanor Ventures, Lowercarbon Capital, and Future Positive Capital. Cervest raised a $6.2 million seed round in 2019.

The London-based company is also unveiling its first product, EarthScan, software that provides asset-level projections about the potential effects of future climate events — from flooding to fire to drought — using climate science, satellites, and machine learning. Cervest CEO and founder Iggy Bassi told Insider that the firm plans to build out a suite of “climate intelligence” tools in the future. 

Before launching Cervest, Bassi worked as a consultant, an investment banker, and a software engineer. He came up with the idea for Cervest while co-founding and helping to run a farming business in Ghana called GADCO Cooperatief UA. Even though company was well-funded and well-staffed, Bassi realized he had no way to understand how climate change was effecting the fields’ yields.

Eventually, as part of founding Cervest, he worked with mathematicians to understand how to “quantify climate risk,” Bassi told Insider. As he learned more, he realized that the complexity of climate change was preventing companies from making decisions based on its likely effects. Instead, corporations were burying their heads in the sand, avoiding the issue unless it actually affected one of their assets.

“Climate is not a one-time issue that you can fix,” Bassi said. “It’s not a software bug.”

He envisions Cervest as a repository for data about climate impact worldwide that will also allow users to zero in on how it will interact with their own holdings. 

At the most basic level, property owners can use EarthScan to see the potential climate risks to their own portfolio.

Users could also use it to make decisions about purchasing properties, banks could use it to make decisions about lending, and insurers could use it to underwrite their policies.

“The further we got into the investment process, the more potential use cases we heard,” Bassi said. 

It could even be used by companies during during merger-and-acquisition processes so that they can underwrite climate risk into their negotiations or by local governments trying to forecast their urban-planning needs.

Before EarthScan, asset-level climate projections were only available to those who can hire teams of consultants to create expensive reports. Cervest, through machine learning and connecting multiple massive data sets, has already computed data on 150 million buildings worldwide, and expects to have data on 500 million by the end of the year.

Customers can track up to five buildings for free, but have to pay if they want to add more. Even the gratis access opens up the platform to small-time landlords and potentially even homeowners.

“If you want mass change, you need mass intelligence,” Bassi told Insider.

The company has launched EarthScan with roughly 20 corporate customers at first, but plans to release it more widely in the third quarter of the year. 

Bassi walked Insider through the pitch deck the company used to raise its latest round.

Cervest sees itself as heralding “a new era of climate intelligence.”


This slide highlights the massive financial tolls climate change is already taking. The problem isn’t on its way, the company says: It’s here.


Preparing for climate risk doesn’t mean giving up on de-carbonizing the economy. Even at net-zero carbon, there will still be climate disasters.


A combination of newer and stricter regulations and the visible reality of climate change has made taking action more urgent than ever.


Climate change’s global scope creates a challenge for real-estate owners. How can they understand the risks to their individual buildings?


Cervest’s pitch is that it’s created “climate intelligence,” or data that can be harnessed to make projections about individual assets across the globe.


Cervest uses the same algorithms and standards for assets worldwide, and allows users to see data on a few properties for free before paying for more information on more locations.


EarthScan is the company’s first product, which gives historical information for specific buildings as far back as the 1970s and projections up to 2100.


The company sees itself as a leader in the shift away from current climate analysis options, performed by consultants or climate-focused insurance underwriters, toward an automated, cheaper, and accessible solution.


On this slide, Cervest touts testimonials from BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, and the sustainability research nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute.


The company is first launching EarthScan for a select group of roughly 20 companies before releasing it to the general public later this year.


This slide brings it all together, with the company touting its automated, machine learning-driven solution that can give asset-specific assessments. Customers can try the product for free with their first few building searches.


This slide looks different than your typical startup pitch deck. Instead of pointing to its executives’ runs at companies like Google or Facebook, Cervest is touting the amount of scientific research its team members have published in their careers.


After EarthScan, Cervest plans to eventually release more products.

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