IBISA Phase 1 - Inclusive Blockchain Insurance using Space Assets

You are here

IBISA enables the next generation of insurance, a mutual risk-sharing service designed to solve the uninsurability of smallholder farmers and pastoralists in the world.

IBISA is a platform built on a decentralized mutuality-based system that enables the sharing of farmer-to-farmer risks in a transparent and cost-efficient way, harnessing the use of blockchain, satellite Earth Observation data and index-based risk modelling.

It’s a B2B platform where local partners globally on-board farmers in the mutual community to share their weather-related risks. It uses blockchain as trust machine and to lower admin and operational costs.  It uses satellite data to design coverages and scale up damage assessment without using ground truth. It does monthly assessment & pay-outs removing the need of filing claims and providing timely compensation. IBISA is scaling in India and is being piloted in Niger.

Image credit: IBISA, Project : IBISA Phase 1

Users and their needs

We are a B2B business so our approach to scale is through our partnerships. With the partnerships that we have in place we have access to 50 million farmers around the world.

We target those farmers that lack the provision of credit, insurance and payment facilities in Latin America and Asia Pacific, Africa and Asia. 500 million agri-entrepreneurs worldwide. This represents 99.3% of low income farmers in the 100 poorest countries. Of special interest to us are the women farmers who account for 60 to 80% of smallholder farmers and produce 90% of food in Africa and about half of all food worldwide. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa, only 15% of landholders are women and they receive less than 10% of credit and 5% of extension services

  • Land size: any land size. The risk-sharing model is based on a compensation damage that is proportionate to the membership contributed by the member
  • Living conditions: IBISA ambitions to cover weather provoked vegetation deficits, be it for crops or for cattle grazing. Our 2 first deployments cover sedentary farmers in India, and sub-Sahelian semi-nomad agro-pastoralists in Africa.
  • Income level: any income level but most often very low. All existing traditional rural risk-sharing communities participate to the common solidarity
  • Farming practices: A recent article published in Nature (2017) based on statistics in India from 1981 to 2013 have shown that wheat yields are most correlated with vegetation indices and not so much with rainfall and with water run-off (streams) levels. Therefore IBISA has the ambition to be applicable both for irrigated and rain-fed cultures. We are crop agnostic. Our loss assessment done by groups and not individually helps reducing moral hazard.

Image credit: DHAN, Project : IBISA Phase 1

Service/ system concept

Blockchain and Satellite Earth Observation (EO) technologies enable, for the first time, profitable agriculture crop protection products and drastically reduce costs typically incurred by traditional insurer-centric paradigms.

IBISA re-engineers the complete business process and business model to drastically reduce costs and enhance resiliency and transparency.

Why Blockchain? we use blockchain to:

  • Automate maximum of back-office,
  • Mutualize risk in a decentralized way and to enhance transparency,
  • Enhance transparency and trust

We use remote sensing data to design parametric coverages: Like all IBI (Index Based Insurance), IBISA reduces damage assessment costs by using index-based triggers and increases transparency as these compensation triggers are based on measurable indicators.

EO products ‘tuned’ to the requirements of IBISA play a key role in the design of our risk models and in the loss assessment that the platform does in an automatic and proactive fashion.

IBISA is designed in a very pragmatic way to lower costs on loss assessments and to be easily and cost-effectively scalable.

For loss assessment IBISA combines the use of EO products with a “crowd-watching” approach enabled by blockchain to avoid the need of the very accurate EO assessments of traditional insurance.

Image credit: IBISA, Project : IBISA Phase 1

Space Added Value

Unlike traditional insurance, which assesses loses on a case-by-case basis and makes payments based on individual client’s loss realizations, Index-Based Insurance (IBI) offers policy holders a pay-out when a measurable indicator (such as soil humidity or vegetation index) triggers a payment to insured clients within a geographically defined space. Earth Observation products, ‘tuned’ to the requirements of IBISA, play a key role in the provision of index-based coverage.

For loss assessment IBISA combines the use of EO products with a “crowd-watching” approach enabled by blockchain to avoid the need of the very accurate EO assessments of traditional insurance.

In order to analyze these satellite images and extract the indexes, we have developed an approach that received an award in the Living Planet 2019 Symposium

Competitive advantages: cost, mutuality model, local partnership model with network of partners already stablished and functioning, user experience (monthly assessments, no claims, ease of use, adapted to field needs).

Current Status

IBISA has deployed its prototype in a pilot project in Tamil Nadu, India with its local partner DHAN. We are scaling this service in Q3 2019.

In a parallel track, partially self-funded, IBISA has started deployment in Niger with its local partner Réseau Billital Maroobé.

Prime Contractor

Status Date

Updated: 12 March 2020 - Created: 12 March 2020