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Climate Corp specialises in weather analytics

Climate Corp specialises in weather analytics

US agricultural giant and genetically modified seed developer Monsanto this week moved to acquire weather analytics specialist The Climate Corporation for approximately $930m in cash.

Climate Corp was founded in 2006 by a trio of ex-Google engineers and product managers and now counts an ex-Navteq executive among its leaders. The company specialises in hyper-local weather monitoring, agronomic data modelling, and high-resolution weather simulations for farmers but also sells specialised insurance that pays farmers automatically for bad weather that may impact their profits.

Monsanto already has a big data-powered software suite that helps farmers predict which crops to plant and where as well as how to harvest them for maximum efficiency. In terms of fit the Climate Corp acquisition could also benefit Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed business by helping the company better target relevant farmers.

The agricultural firm said the deal will also greatly expand The Climate Corporation’s capabilities in data science, agriculture’s next major growth frontier, an area that represents a potential opportunity of $20bn beyond Monsanto’s core focus today.

“Everyone benefits when farmers are able to produce more with fewer resources,” said Hugh Grant, chairman and chief executive officer for Monsanto.

“Farmers around the world are challenged to make key decisions for their farms in the face of increasingly volatile weather, as well as a proliferation of information sources,” said David Friedberg, chief executive officer for The Climate Corporation. “Our team understands that the ability to turn data into actionable insight and farm management recommendations is vitally important for agriculture around the world and can greatly benefit farmers, regardless of farm size or their preferred farming methods.”

Following the acquisition, The Climate Corporation will operate its business to retain its distinct brand identity, continuing to maintain headquarters in Silicon Valley where all of its employees will be offered continued employment.