Climate technology startup Sensible Weather has landed $4 million in seed funding to help travel and hospitality companies account for weather disruptions.
Wonder Ventures and Walkabout Ventures led the round, which, combined with a research and development grant from the National Science Foundation and a significant new debt capacity to support underwriting, brings Sensible Weather’s total financing to about $10 million.
Group 1001, Spencer Rascoff’s 75 & Sunny Ventures, Raj Gokal of Solana Labs and others also participated in the round.
Sensible Weather’s first product offering is a partner-branded Weather Guarantee service, which automatically reimburses travelers when bad weather impacts their in-trip experience. The company will not disclose its travel partners at this time but says they include activities companies, lodging partners and ski resorts.
The Weather Guarantee service is built upon Sensible Weather’s proprietary Climate Risk Platform, which it describes as a “high-performance data, analytics and risk assessment engine.”
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The platform can fulfill same-day reimbursement for rain disruptions and will soon allow partners to offer customers protection for additional weather events such as snow, wind and air quality.
Consumers can purchase Weather Guarantee protection when booking travel reservations and event tickets from Sensible Weather’s experiential brand partners. If a weather event such as rain is forecasted during an outdoor event, for example, Sensible Weather automatically texts customers a link for reimbursement. Payouts are based on the number of hours the experience is negatively impacted by weather.
With the new capital, the startup will build out its team of engineers and scientists, increase investment in its Climate Risk Platform and expand Weather Guarantee into new travel verticals.
Founded in 2019, Sensible Weather is currently live with its travel-oriented Weather Guarantees and plans to roll out consumer-focused climate finance products to other industries in the future.
In separate news, weather and climate security platform Tomorrow.io is planning to go public through the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Pine Technology Acquisition Corp.
A JetBlue Technology Ventures portfolio company, Tomorrow.io is a software-as-a-service company that gives businesses, governments and individuals tools to automate decision-making and enable climate adaptation.
Its clients include Uber, Ford Motor Company, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways.
Tomorrow.io’s Weather and Climate Security Platform uses machine learning to translate hyperlocal forecasts into actionable insights for industries including aviation, on-demand companies and venues.
Following its initial investment in 2017, JetBlue Technology Ventures assisted JetBlue in launching a trial of the Weather and Climate Security Platform at five JetBlue focus city; the technology is currently in use throughout the JetBlue network to reduce airport costs associated with weather-related cancelations or delays and to increase the safety of ground operations.
“Aviation is an industry heavily impacted by weather on a day-to-day basis, which made Tomorrow.io a natural investment fit for JetBlue Technology Ventures. Since that time, it has consistently delivered valuable returns to JetBlue by minimizing operational airport disruptions. Its continued technological advancements and customer momentum lead us to believe that when it comes to predicting the weather of the future, there will be blue skies ahead,” says JetBlue Technology Ventures president Amy Burr.
Additionally, JetBlue Technology Ventures has committed to a $75 million private investment in public equity (PIPE). The PIPE includes commitments from additional investors including Koch Strategic Platforms, National Grid Partners and SoftBank’s SB Energy Corp.