BEYOND
WEATHER
INSURANCE

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Arbol is a
weather hedging
marketplace built
on blockchain.

Disaster Cost Millions
Tourism Energy Retail Transportation Agriculture

The Arbol Solution

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    Peer-to-Peer

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    Automatic

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    Customizable

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    Secure

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    Decentralized

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    Transparent

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How Arbol Works

Use Cases Image

Agriculture Use Cases

  • Farmers

    Farmers

    Using Arbol’s customized Weather Immunity Token (WIT) agreements, farmers can receive payments for droughts, floods, or other adverse weather outcomes that negatively affect their crop. Beyond rainfall, Arbol is developing temperature and satellite vegetation data integration to offer farmers expanded ability to manage risks to crops in a rule-based manner.

  • Livestock
  • Processors
  • Insurers
  • Investors
  • Microlenders
  • Nonprofits

Farmers

Using Arbol’s customized Weather Immunity Token (WIT) agreements, farmers can receive payments for droughts, floods, or other adverse weather outcomes that negatively affect their crop. Beyond rainfall, Arbol is developing temperature and satellite vegetation data integration to offer farmers expanded ability to manage risks to crops in a rule-based manner.

Arbol Roadmap

Timeline of tech, legal, and funding related items

  • Completed

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    Seed Round.

    Legal Compliance.

    “Cerasus” Release Deployed onto Rinkeby Testnet.

  • Completed

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    Onboard Pilot Users.

    “Triticus” Release Deployed to Rinkeby Testnet.

  • In Progress

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    Series A.

    First Mainnet Transactions on Triticus.

  • Q3 2019

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    IPFS Weather Data Releases.

    Temperature Index Integration.

  • Q4 2019

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    “Iumentus” Release.

    Security Audit.

  • Q1 2020

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    Mobile Support.

    Decentralized Weather Data Instrumentation SDK.

  • Q2 2020

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    Secondary WIT Exchange. Fiat Usage Supported in United States.

  • Q4 2019

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    “Iumentus” Release.

    Security Audit.

  • Q3 2019

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    IPFS Weather Data Releases.

    Temperature Index Integration.

  • In Progress

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    Series A.

    First Mainnet Transactions on Triticus.

  • Q1 2020

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    Mobile Support.

    Decentralized Weather Data Instrumentation SDK.

  • Q2 2020

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    Secondary WIT Exchange. Fiat Usage Supported in United States.

Arbol Team

Sid Jha

Founder & CEO

Ben Andre

CTO

Philippe Heilberg

CFO & COO

Osho Jha

Chief Data Scientist

Julie Overdeer

Crop Insurance Specialist

Bill O’Leary

Chief Strategy Officer

Alexei Gabrielli

European Markets

Anthony Scuderi

Advisor

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Arbol relevant to me?

Yes, it is relevant if you are looking to earn a novel, diversified source of income on investments while also having a positive social impact. Arbol connects farmers with investors who are looking for uncorrelated income. By offering protection on poor weather, you can earn extra income that is not tied to the stock market or other mainstream investments. You do not need to be a weather expert for this. Arbol will provide fair value estimates of the protection, charts showing historical rainfall, and features to enable selling baskets of locations so you are not exposed to a single area’s rainfall.

Why decentralize crop insurance?

P2P crop insurance as centralized software would be problematic for the following reasons. The centralized entity would have to take control of all escrowed funds, which causes liability issues. Having the funds be in a smart contract resolves this. Having the transactions take place in the international currency of Ether solves the logistical issues associated with creating agreements that use multiple local fiat currencies. A centralized version would likely have to use fiat. The hyper-transparent nature of smart contracts brings an additional layer of trust to a space that is vulnerable to corruption. A centralized version of this would have a harder time proving that their agreement evaluation procedures are legit.

Why is Arbol needed when traditional crop insurance already exists?

Crop insurance has large gaps globally. It is estimated that 6 billion of the 7 billion hectares of arable land globally is uninsured. This leaves a $1 Trillion gap in insurance coverage. In most areas outside of USA & Canada, crop insurance coverage is only 10-30% of the crop value, even in developed markets such as Australia. Even in the USA where crop insurance is widespread, the bulk of benefits flow to the biggest farmers leaving many smaller family farms and specialty crops exposed. Even in areas where crop insurance is available, agribusiness entities such as cattle operators, sugar mills, or ethanol plants are not eligible for the policies. These entities, however, are still exposed to significant weather risk via their input costs (feed, other agricultural products). Agribusinesses will be a major target client group for arbol. Additionally, crop insurance in these areas (for example, the US) tends to be focused on major crops such as corn and soybeans, while smaller crops such as strawberries or cannabis are often left without options. Crop insurance policies are generally inflexible and cannot be altered easily past a certain date. arbol agreements, however, can be customized to the individual weather station level, and traded on a secondary exchange as ERC721 tokens after they have been locked. Crop insurance in many countries is prone to corruption, fraud, delays, and inefficiencies. In India for example, insurance entities have been accused of misdirecting benefits to companies instead of farmers. Many institutional policy initiatives have been abandoned due to rampant fraud. arbol solves this. Finally, there are hundreds of millions of farmers in the developing world who do not have access to any kind of crop or weather insurance simply because of a lack of infrastructure. arbol is the infrastructure that makes it possible for these huge groups to manage their risk.

What is a Weather Immunity Token (WIT)?

WITs are an ERC-721 token representing a decentralized version of parametric insurance, paying out based on evaluation of weather data. WITs hold the users’ funds in a smart contract making payments directly to the appropriate party depending on the weather data. They are transferrable allowing users to reduce their weather risk in an international P2P marketplace. WITs be traded or transferred during the term period before evaluation. WITs remove delays or ambiguity in payment for adverse weather across borders allowing weather protection in regions that are previously not profitable enough for large insurance entities to operate in.

How do you get weather data that is accurate and immune to tampering?

There are a number of public and private centralized authorities aggregating and releasing global weather data. Though Arbol’s users will be able to choose from several data authorities for their WITs (we feel that cultivating an understanding of weather data sources among our user base is a good thing), we have settled on NOAA as our recommended data source because of its status among the global scientific and agrifinance communities. The USDA uses NOAA data to build crop forecasting models, insurers write contracts that hinge on NOAA data, and thousands of scientists publish climate research analyzing NOAA data every year. We reason that, as the aggregator with the largest and most critical user base, NOAA faces the highest standards of any aggregator. NOAA is a US government organization. Here are their data integrity procedures: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ghcn-daily-methods While we believe that NOAA is the best option right now, we acknowledge that no centralized weather aggregator can be completely secure. To mitigate this, Arbol’s weather agreements come with an optional “appealable” feature. If both parties agree to make an Arbol agreement appealable at creation, then final payout will be delayed for 2 weeks after evaluation, during which period the losing party will have the option to appeal to Arbol directly if they believe their agreement was evaluated on falsified data. Initiating an appeal will cost a fee to deincentivize frivolous appeals. We are constantly evaluating new data sources and reevaluating existing ones. For example, there are private aggregators who may be able to work with us to bring weather data on-chain. We are also looking at developing an on-chain, consensus based weather data app. Our aim is to grow institutional knowledge within Arbol about weather data and to always handle issues of data sourcing proactively rather than reactively. Protecting users from cyberattack is our top priority.

How will you manage fluctuations in Ether prices?

Several “stablecoins” such as Dai and Tether are pegged to the US dollar and limit price fluctuations. We will be supporting one or more of them for escrow purposes in an upcoming release.

What separates Arbol from other betting platforms?

Arbol is actually not a betting platform. Arbol is a risk hedging platform that allows farmers & agribusiness to source liquidity from individual and institutional investors. For investors, the platform will be designed to facilitate selling baskets of weather risk across locations allowing them to earn a portfolio of cashflows. This diversified approach is akin to insurance companies selling many policies to reduce risk of large losses from any one event and is what fundamentally separates a series of ad-hoc “bets” from risk management. For farmers and agribusiness this is great as it allows them to receive protection regardless of crop or country. We believe that taking a specialized approach with a focus on allowing participants to effectively manage risks instead of gambling will enable us to grow our user base more effectively than generalized betting platforms such as Augur including explicitly targeting the types of institutional users that already conduct this type of business using existing tools and markets. Additionally, generalized betting marketplaces will inevitably segment into different categories (politics, trade, natural disasters, etc.), and users in these different categories won’t necessarily be able to interact with each other. The result is a platform with a lot of users, but one that isn’t very useful because its markets have low liquidity. Focusing on bringing in users focused on hedging similar types of risks results in more effective pooling of bets by investors leading to higher liquidity and a more useful platform. We also believe that, since we use weather APIs instead of crowdsourced weather outcomes, we can run transactions more quickly and with lower fees than generalized platforms such as Augur.

When can I use Arbol?

You can play around with Arbol right now. Go to arbol.app and set Metamask to the Rinkeby network. Our mainnet deployment will be coming soon.

What about weather futures?

Weather futures mostly have little liquidity and are not used widely for agricultural weather. Futures contracts have specifications which are too standardized to be useful to manage local weather risks. Arbol offers weather protection customization down to a weather station near your farm. 

How is Arbol’s team qualified to grow the business?

Arbol’s team brings a unique combination of members with industry experience across commodities and insurance along with members with a strong technology background. The team has combined experience of over 60 years including senior executive experience at major firms.