Google-Backed WeatherBill Protects Farmers From Extreme WeatherBY Ariel Schwartz
Anyone who relies on consistent weather patterns for work is going to be hit hard by climate change-induced wacky weather. WeatherBill, a startup founded in 2006 by two ex-Google employees, aims to help one vulnerable population--farmers--cope with these changes. And now the startup has $42 million from Google Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and others to do it.
WeatherBill, which collected the cash in a Series B funding round, has a simple goal: to protect the $3 trillion global agriculture industry from bad weather through insurance products that pay out based on measured weather conditions, no claims processing required.
"WeatherBill is applying the use of our technology platform to become the first company to provide every farmer--from the developing world to the technologically sophisticated--with a simple and effective solution for removing weather-related risk from their financial profile, in order to support and ensure the sustainability of the global food supply," said David Friedberg, CEO and co-founder of WeatherBill, in a statement.
WeatherBill's insurance system (already available on the startup's site) works with help from local weather modeling and monitoring systems that hunt down adverse weather conditions on farmer's lands--and then pays out cash. Factors that influence the cost of insurance packages include historical observations, short-range forecasts, climate outlook models, and long-term trends. Then, if there is unexpected rain, drought, snow, heat, or cold, WeatherBill will pay out automatically.
If climate change continues to induce extreme weather patterns, WeatherBill's business will only continue to grow. And this company won't be the last of its kind--rest assured, well-funded startups that benefit from climate change will pop up in increasing numbers. Because there is a profit to be made from every crisis, right?