Startup WeatherBill has built a business around offering farmers financial protection against weather, but the underlying goal of the company has always been to help companies adapt to a changing climate, the company’s CEO and Co-Founder David Friedberg told me. That’s why on Tuesday, WeatherBill launched a rebranding effort, and is now going as The Climate Corporation, complete with a new website.
Along with the climate focus, Friedberg says the company, which uses big data tools to offer analytics and reports to customers, could eventually launch analytics for other verticals beyond the agriculture industry. Right now, five-year-old The Climate Corporation sells its “Total Weather Insurance” product, which gives farmers info about weather and helps them buy insurance to protect them from losses from extreme weather events.
In addition to the branding refresh, The Climate Corporation is bringing former Senator Byron Dorgan onto its Board of Directors. Friedberg says Dorgan has been “a big proponent of the American farmer,” and can aid The Climate Corporation in working with farm-related policy, like the $12 billion per year that goes into federal crop insurance.
The Climate Corporation has other important connections and deep pockets, too. It has been backed by over $50 million from investors including Google Ventures, (s goog) Khosla Ventures, NEA, Index Ventures, Allen & Company, Atomico, First Round Capital and Code Advisors. When the company raised $42 million of those funds earlier this year, Khosla Ventures partner Vinod Khosla said “Now WeatherBill can help farmers globally deal with the increasingly extreme weather brought on by climate change.”
The traditional insurance industry is still figuring out how to address this world of increasingly unpredictable weather, and The Climate Corporation’s technology is bringing that to smaller businesses and also via the web. The Climate Corporation is essentially giving businesses tools to adapt to climate change. While climate change adaptation has kind of been a dirty word, because it was positioned in contrast to preventing climate change, it has become increasingly clear that climate change is coming, and more and more investors will likely look to back adaptation technologies (see adaptation is the hot new sector in greentech.)