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An airplane taking off during a storm. Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst/picture alliance via Getty Images

ClimaCell, a Boston-based startup that uses cell phone and IoT data for short-term, hyper-local weather forecasting, raised $45 million in Series B funding.

Why it's a BFD: Because this is about providing vital information to airlines and self-driving cars, not about helping you pick the right type of jacket.

The details: Clearvision Ventures led and was joined by Ford Smart Mobility, Envision Ventures and return backers Canaan Partners, Fontinalis Partners, JetBlue Technology Ventures and Square Peg Capital.

Bottom line: "ClimaCell has kept a close hold on its exact methods, saying that it utilizes variations in cellular signals that can point to changing weather conditions other sensors don't pick up on. It has already demonstrated its usefulness for Jet Blue via a project the airline told Axios resulted in improved warning lead times of fog and winter weather conditions at Boston's Logan International Airport, a key hub of theirs." — Andrew Freedman, Axios science editor

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
7 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.