Weather insurance start-up receives funding from Google, Khosla
01 March 2011
A start-up which helps insure farmers against losses from increasingly volatile weather has received $42 million by way of investment from Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla and Google Ventures.
WeatherBill, founded by ex-Google employees David Friedberg and Siraj Khaliq, collates weather data from various sources and sells insurance based on statistical analysis. The company's workforce includes a team of software engineers and climatologists.
According to WeatherBill, the $3 trillion annual global agriculture production is increasingly hostage to the vagaries unpredictable weather fluctuations.
Last year's tumultuous weather conditions caused devastating floods in Pakistan, China and Australia and a heatwave in Russia. According to the UN it was the warmest period on record alongside 1998 and 2005.
According to a UN panel of climate change experts, weather is set to become more unpredictable and extreme in the 21st century, impacting everything from food to water supplies, due to a build-up of heat-trapping gases from human use of fossil fuels.
"More than 90 per cent of crop losses are due to unexpected weather and climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events," CEO Friedberg said in a statement.