Model & Strategy

The Problem
Due to climate change, catastrophic flooding is accelerating worldwide. Each year, 250M people are affected by flooding, and the world’s poorest countries are hit the hardest. India is the most vulnerable country, with some 4.8M citizens at routine risk from flood waters, followed by Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Indonesia. Closer to home, the U.S. is the only developed nation on the list of the world’s top 20 nations most at risk from floods, with 170K people and $7B at risk. By 2030, this number is on track to double, and financial damages are expected to triple. Still, existing flood-monitoring technologies and flood insurance programs are woefully inadequate. Today’s flood mapping is slow, manual, and expensive; it can take years and millions in funding to fully map a single stretch of river. During a crisis, flood information generally comes by mere word of mouth. Meanwhile, few governments can afford sufficient data to plan for disasters, let alone insure assets at risk of flooding. With Floodbase’s products and support, frontline communities can prepare for and respond to catastrophic flooding at every stage of the disaster cycle.

The Solution
Floodbase is the world’s leading remote flood data platform. The best way to aid frontline communities is by removing the barriers to the scientific information needed to respond to floods and insure the damages they cause. Floodbase uses global satellites and remote sensing AI to map historic flood risk and monitor worldwide floods in real time. This method is much faster and more accurate than traditional flood mapping, which requires manual on-site recording. While satellites make it possible to create scalable, low-cost, and high-quality flood maps and impact assessments remotely, they are limited by their structured revisit times and difficulty seeing through cloud cover. Floodbase has worked to mitigate these issues by integrating machine learning, improving their existing results and offering new insights.

Floodbase’s data enables insurers to offer parametric flood insurance and cover risk that is uninsurable with existing data solutions. They work with global insurers and government agencies, including FEMA, the World Bank, and UN World Food Program.

At a Glance
Founded: 2016
Location of work: International
New York City, NY
Making parametric flood insurance possible
Cloud to Street entrepreneurs Bessie Schwarz and Beth Tellman
Meet Bessie Schwarz & Beth Tellman

Bessie is a community organizer by training and at heart. She has worked with communities vulnerable to climate change across the U.S. and led national climate and energy policy campaigns. Beth has been passionate about reducing flood vulnerability for communities since she worked in flood relief and resilience efforts in El Salvador from 2009 to 2012. She received her Ph.D. in geographical sciences from Arizona State University in 2019.


140K climate-vulnerable people and some of the world’s largest banks have access to insurance they would not otherwise have via Floodbase.

Governments in 28 countries worldwide have relied on Floodbase, primarily at the national level.

Floodbase identified over 400K square kilometers at high risk of flooding, including 41K square kilometers of agricultural land.

Floodbase identified over 2M at-risk people for their government while monitoring more than 79M people for floods.