MENLO PARK, Calif. — Vinod Khosla and his Khosla Ventures took part in one of the biggest venture capital funding rounds of the year, joining some investing giants in backing WeatherBill to the tune of $42 million.
The San Francisco-based WeatherBill has developed a technology platform that enables the pricing and purchasing of weather insurance using global weather simulation modeling and local weather monitoring systems.
The recent funding was the company's second round of venture capital.
Khosla Ventures and Google Ventures joined previous investors NEA, Index Ventures, Allen & Co., First Round Capital, Atomico and Code Advisors.
WeatherBill said it will use the money to support "aggressive" product and sales expansion in the United States and internationally. Products pay out automatically based solely on measured weather conditions, requiring no claims process and no waiting for payment, according to the company.
"With a firm belief that technology can create new markets and address vital global challenges, Khosla Ventures immediately recognized the potential of WeatherBill to fundamentally change the risk profile of the global agriculture industry," said Khosla, founder of Menlo Park, Calif.-based Khosla Ventures. "WeatherBill is one of those rare companies that has the leadership and vision to apply new technology to an ancient and daunting problem — weather's impact on agriculture. Now WeatherBill can help farmers globally deal with the increasingly extreme weather brought on by climate change."
"Global agriculture production is more than $3 trillion per year, and it is at risk today from extreme weather conditions, as evidenced by the recent droughts in Russia and China and extensive flooding in Australia, which have decimated global commodity supplies," said David Friedberg, CEO and co-founder of WeatherBill. "More than 90 percent of crop losses are due to unexpected weather and climate change is increasing the frequency of extreme weather events. Dedicated to addressing this global concern, 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."
Source: IndUS Business Journal Online. March 7, 2011