Turns out investors like the intersection of big data and weather. On Thursday morning, six-year-old Climate Corporation announced that it has raised another round of $50 million, led by the Founders Fund and including existing investors.
At this point, Climate Corp. has raised more than $110 million in funding from investors that include Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures, NEA, Index Ventures, Allen & Company, Atomico, and First Round Capital. Eight months ago, Climate Corp. rebranded its weather insurance service to focus more on protecting farmers (and, one day, other customers) from the changes in climate that affect crop production.
Climate Corp. is essentially an analytics and big data platform. Farmers give the company data about their growing plans for the year, and Climate Corp. crunches a massive amount of data to offer them specially crafted insurance policies based on climate and crop probabilities. If a covered weather event happens and the farmer loses crops, the farmer gets paid.
Being able to craft targeted insurance policies means the company’s platform has to incorporate all sorts of data about historical and current agriculture and weather. Among the data the system knows are the shape of every single of the 20 million crop lands in the United States, what is grown on each every year, what the crop yields were, and the water-holding capacity of the soil. Each predictive simulation analyzes 5 trillion data points.
As the world’s climate continues to change and the world population passes 9 billion in 2050, crop productivity will become increasingly important. Farmers will increasingly need to protect themselves from unstable and unpredictable weather and food scarcity in certain regions will become an increasingly pressing problem down the road.
Climate Corp. will use the funds partly to hire 50 researchers, data scientists and developers.