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Founded Year



Series B | Alive

Total Raised


Last Raised

$120M | 2 yrs ago

About Descartes

Descartes offers parametric insurance against climate risk. It jointly works with brokers and reinsurers to come up with property and casualty insurance solutions across various sectors and geographies. The company was founded in 2018 and is based in Paris, France.

Headquarters Location

148 rue de Courcelles

Paris, 75017,




Descartes's Product Videos

ESPs containing Descartes

The ESP matrix leverages data and analyst insight to identify and rank leading companies in a given technology landscape.

Insurance / P&C Insurance Tech

The climate & weather insurance providers market offers insurance products and services to protect businesses and individuals from financial losses caused by climate and weather events. It provides coverage against risks such as hurricanes, floods, droughts, and wildfires. Climate & weather insurance helps customers mitigate the financial impact of these events and ensures business continuity. By …

Descartes named as Highflier among 15 other companies, including CelsiusPro, Skyline Partners, and One Concern.

Descartes's Products & Differentiators

    Natural Catastrophes

    Parametric insurance against a full range Nat Cat and climate risks, including cyclone, earthquake, flood, wildfire, and more.


Research containing Descartes

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Descartes in 2 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Sep 7, 2022.

Expert Collections containing Descartes

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Descartes is included in 4 Expert Collections, including Real Estate Tech.


Real Estate Tech

2,485 items

Startups in the space cover the residential and commercial real estate space. Categories include buying, selling and investing in real estate (iBuyers, marketplaces, investment/crowdfunding platforms), and property management, insurance, mortgage, construction, and more.



4,239 items

Companies and startups that use of technology to improve core and ancillary insurance operations. Companies in this collection are creating new product architectures, improving underwriting models, accelerating claims and creating a better customer experience



12,502 items

Excludes US-based companies


Insurtech 50

50 items

Descartes Patents

Descartes has filed 1 patent.

patents chart

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Grant Date


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Latest Descartes News

How parametric insurance solutions can help bridge the climate protection gap

Nov 21, 2023

CEO highlights the power of brokers and the problems they've been facing Share The link between physics, data and insurance might not appear the most natural alignment at first sight, but for Tanguy Touffut (pictured) it was the spark that led him and his co-founders to develop Descartes Underwriting. In the five years since he left his role at AXA to become CEO of the parametric insurance provider, he has seen the business go from strength to strength, now boasting a team of 170 employees based in offices around the world . Discussing how Descartes came to life, he highlighted how climate change is creating significant challenges for so many people, businesses and industries – among them, the insurance industry. It soon became clear to him and his co-founders that the insurance industry cannot afford only to look at historical data, he said, but instead it needs to use physics in order to better understand the consequences of climate change on the frequency and severity of floods, storms and cyclones and other climate-related risks Bridging the gaps in climate change understanding “We identified a gap in the understanding of climate change,” he said. “So, now we have more than 100 modellers, software engineers and DevOps focusing on understanding climate risks. A challenge we found more specific to the insurance sector was that sometimes the current product offering was not fit for purpose, as it sometimes takes years to process a payment. In the US, it’s an average of 550 days between declaration of loss and payment.” It was with upping the speed of insurance payouts in the event of weather-related disasters in mind that the Descartes team looked to parametric solutions. These don’t just speed up claims payments, however, he said, but also provide a way to reduce loss adjusting fees, create bespoke solutions and, crucially, offer more transparent coverage. Over the last five-to-10 years, he said, market conditions have given rise to more complex wordings and more exclusions within insurance contracts. Insurers and reinsurers alike understand the need to improve their profitability and avoid creeping losses – and the solution is having a much more advanced understanding of the costs involved with specific events. Only through having the right data-driven insights will insurers, reinsurers and brokers alike be able to navigate these increasingly complex market conditions. The power of well-designed parametric insurance solutions Touffut noted that well-designed, parametric insurance solutions could prove a “win-win” scenario for the market. As to how this proposition is feeding back to Descartes’ broker partners, he pinpointed the demand from brokers for innovative solutions. Brokers have been facing difficult situations over the last few years with the hardening market, he said, as a knock-on effect of the impact of high inflation and nat-cat losses on reinsurers and insurers. “It has been difficult for brokers because they are the go-between,” he said. “On the one hand, they have clients that want to keep a low insurance budget or at least have a lower increase in terms of premiums. On the other hand, you have insurers looking for sometimes double-digit rate increases, taking into account the claim ratio and high inflation. “Brokers have needed to find solutions to avoid the complex dialogue between these insurers and their clients who may simply not have the budget to place their business in the hardening market… So, they have been very positive about innovation. We work only on behalf of brokers around the world, which is a way for us to scale efficiently because we don’t have to build our distribution network, we count on brokers to distribute our products. They know what their clients are looking for, which is a real strength and why we’re so broker-driven.” Where do parametric insurance solutions go next? Looking at where parametric solutions go next, Touffut highlighted that uninsured losses are growing at a faster rate than insured losses , which is making it harder than ever for the industry to cope with climate change. Descartes’ data reveals that the insurance industry is growing, he said, but that the protection gap is growing even faster than the insurance sector. So, the industry is at the point of having to innovate at a faster pace just to stand still. For the team at Descartes, helping the industry keep pace is an utmost priority, as is building resilience against climate and emerging risks. He said that the growth of the business is critical to that; in addition to opening new global offices, it is looking at expanding its headcount from 169 to 250 employees by the end of the following year. With its global footprint, the firm can sell more than 20 different products to brokers across more than 40 countries – but this is a launch pad, not a destination for the business. “Given the mix of external and internal challenges facing the market, we felt it was a no-brainer that there was room for innovative players that would be data-driven, building new algorithms and trying to meet those challenges,” he said. “And it is quite challenging to build a company that has a strong backbone in insurance but is simultaneously a tech company. But we recognise the need to find the right mix between insurance expertise and true tech DNA to achieve new solutions – and that’s what we’re looking to achieve at Descartes Underwriting.” Related Stories

Descartes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Descartes founded?

    Descartes was founded in 2018.

  • Where is Descartes's headquarters?

    Descartes's headquarters is located at 148 rue de Courcelles, Paris.

  • What is Descartes's latest funding round?

    Descartes's latest funding round is Series B.

  • How much did Descartes raise?

    Descartes raised a total of $141.78M.

  • Who are the investors of Descartes?

    Investors of Descartes include BlackFin Capital Partners, Serena Capital, Cathay Innovation, Eurazeo, Seaya Ventures and 6 more.

  • Who are Descartes's competitors?

    Competitors of Descartes include The Demex Group and 8 more.

  • What products does Descartes offer?

    Descartes's products include Natural Catastrophes and 2 more.


Compare Descartes to Competitors

The Demex Group Logo
The Demex Group

The Demex Group designs risk management solutions at the hyper-local level for insurers and companies with exposure to non-catastrophic extreme weather. Its solutions include operational climate risk coverage and retained climate risk reinsurance. The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Washington, DC.

Arbol Logo

Arbol is a company that focuses on climate risk management in the insurance and financial derivatives sectors. The company offers solutions such as derivatives for agribusinesses and energy businesses, and insurance services that payout rapidly when selected data triggers are met, eliminating the need for lengthy loss calculations and paperwork. Arbol primarily serves industries that are significantly affected by climate risks. It was founded in 2018 and is based in New York, New York.

Stable Logo

Stable operates as an insurance technology company. It provides price risk management for the food and farming industry and helps to minimize a business’s risk due to volatile commodity prices. The was founded in 2017 and is based in New York, New York.


Alan provides digital health insurance services. It develops subscription-based software for insurance. It serves companies, hotels, cafes, restaurants, and individuals. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Paris, France.

Natixis Logo

Natixis is a French corporate and investment bank. It offers services such as asset management, consumer credit, leasing services, and more. It was founded in 2006 and is based in Paris, France.

HUK-Coburg Logo

HUK-Coburg is a Germany-based insurance provider. Its insurance coverage includes automobile, home, and health.


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