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IAG invests in Australian rural intelligence start-up

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IAG has invested in rural intelligence start-up Digital Agriculture Services (DAS) to help its customers better understand and manage their farm property risk by using insights from satellite imagery.

Melbourne-based DAS, which is backed by CSIRO and was established in 2017, offers AI-powered climate risk intelligence for farmers, lenders, insurers, commodity traders and rural suppliers to better assess physical risk remotely and rapidly.

DAS technology reveals what the risk is for a particular rural property, farm or portfolio, from anywhere in the world, offering a remote virtual window to assess physical risk, including drought stress, flood, frost, fire, water or land use.

The platform also analyses and predicts productivity, assesses factors such as vegetation, flood or water, and offers risk scores for every rural property, including for bushfire.

IAG Ventures Director Scott Gunther says combining DAS data, geospatial imaging, analytics and AI machine learning with IAG’s agricultural insurance knowledge could reinvent insurance for Australian farmers.

“The insights and learnings are going to also allow us to explore new products and services,” he said. “We will be able to empower Agri customers with data and insights about their property and assets to help them better understand and prepare for risk.”

In the first phase of the partnership, IAG and DAS will provide all Australian rural property owners with access to a free risk report that outlines bushfire and climate risks to help farmers better understand and prepare for natural disasters.

Other investments made by IAG’s venture capital fund Firemark Ventures include Airtasker, Life360, HyperAnna, UpGuard and ActivePipe.

IAG is the largest agribusiness insurer in Australia via it NRMA Insurance, CGU and WFI brands.