Weather technology company ClimaCell closed its $45 million Series B last week. The company provides location-specific, short-term weather forecasts by utilizing hyper-sensing technologies like wireless communication networks instead of depending solely on government radar.
The company’s Series B was led by Clearvision Ventures with participation from new investors Ford Smart Mobility LLC and Envision Ventures. Existing investors Canaan, Fontinalis Partners, JetBlue Technology Ventures and Square Peg Capital also participated in the round, according to a media release from ClimaCell.
ClimaCell hopes to cement its place as the default microweather platform for the emerging technology economy, including autonomous vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and on-demand services, according to the release. However, the company also serves more traditional consumers in the aviation and utilities markets.
“Forming a strategic relationship with ClimaCell will deliver value across our business,” said Marcy Klevorn, Executive Vice President and President, Mobility, Ford Motor Company. “High-definition, microweather information supports multiple mobility and AV initiatives, including route planning, the services we can offer to customers via FordPass, and sharing information via the Transportation Mobility Cloud. In the future, real-time data will allow autonomous vehicles to be routed around bad weather.”
The money raised in the ClimaCell’s latest financing round will be used to expand the company’s global presence and continue research into weather sensing and forecasting options.
ClimaCell CCO and Co-founder Itai Zlotnik told FreightWaves expanding globally is high on the company’s list of priorities because they aim to help others
“A big motivation is improving lives in developing countries like India, Latin America and Southeast Asia,” he said. “There lives are more dependent on the weather, and they are much more dependent on agriculture.”
ClimaCell expects to extend to areas with little to no existing weather infrastructure within the next six months.
ClimaCell is focused on helping out here at home, too. The company is stepping in to provide better weather data at a time when adverse weather is costing the U.S. upward of $1 billion annually, according to the media release.
“Up to $1,344 billion, or three-to-six percent of variability in U.S. GDP, is attributed to weather, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. However, the low density and slow update times of radars and weather stations can leave data gaps. Plus, radar can’t sense at low altitudes, and this makes weather more unpredictable, and dangerous,” the release reads. “Since new hyper-sensing technologies capture millions of data points about ground-level weather, high-resolution data, like ClimaCell’s, means more accurate forecasts. Finally, ClimaCell speeds up forecasting using big data techniques and high-performance computing.”
Zlotnik believes ClimaCell’s ability to provide better weather data is reliant on having a combination of better inputs, better models and better computing.
“We are very excited to partner with ClimaCell. It is a space and technology which we have studied deeply, and believe is very important to the world,” Clearvision Ventures’ Managing Partner Dan Ahn said. “We have high conviction that ClimaCell will become the world’s leading company in the weather data space.”