Jun 2, 2021 - Energy & Environment

TPG invests $100 million in Climavision, a new weather company

Illustration of binoculars with a lightning storm reflected in the lenses

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Climavision, a new "weather services and intelligence platform," emerged out of stealth mode Wednesday with a goal of helping customers manage the growing risks of extreme weather spurred on by climate change.

Why it matters: Competition in the weather and climate risk management space has heated up as climate change drives an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather and climate events.

At the same time, new technology is becoming available to observe and predict such events, from satellite constellations to ground-based sensors.

The details: Climavision is spinning out of Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC), a firm that manufactures weather radar systems used by 95 countries.

  • According to Climavision CEO Chris Goode, the company will deploy its own network of proprietary radars to plug the gaps that exist in the National Weather Service's extensive network of Doppler radars.
  • Such gaps exist in places ranging from rural areas of the Plains to some metro regions, such as Charlotte, where the nearest Doppler radar is too far away to detect low-altitude weather phenomena.
  • Goode told Axios the company will also take advantage of new data coming from space-based platforms, through a data agreement with GeoOptics. That company's satellites work to measure conditions in the upper atmosphere.

The intrigue: The $100 million in funding for Climavision comes from TPG's global impact investing arm, known as The Rise Fund, which boasts $5 billion in assets under management. The funding is unusually high for a company at such an early stage. Most of Climavision's peers have raised Series A rounds in the $10 to $30 million range.

  • According to a press release, fund managers view backing Climavision as a way to manage the increased risks from climate change-induced extreme weather.
  • “The Rise Fund understands the need and urgency to invest in technologies that will empower businesses and governments to navigate increasingly dynamic weather patterns, particularly as the world economy endures the inevitable challenges associated with climate change," Goode stated in the release.
  • The Rise Fund has also invested in C3.ai, a big data aggregation and analytics platform, and CLEAResult, an energy efficiency provider.

Yes, but: Climavision joins a crowded field of firms vying to help manage escalating weather and climate risks, from well-established and deep pocketed players like IBM (which owns The Weather Company) to expanding upstarts such as Tomorrow.io (formerly known as ClimaCell).

What they're saying: Goode told Axios that Climavision's observational data will set it apart from the competition. "What we're out to do is fundamentally change that landscape, and fill in all of these significant gaps that exist," he said, rather than aggregate existing data streams like many companies are currently doing.

Go deeper: Prominent investors jump into the climate risk space

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