Louisville, Kentucky’s growing tech startup scene has caught the attention of San Francisco-based investment firm TPG.
The Rise Fund, TPG’s global impact investing platform, announced it has invested $100 million in Climavision, a weather technology and intelligence platform looking to mitigate the economic risks of climate change and weather-related events. The fund, created in 2016 in partnership with Bono, Jeff Skoll, and TPG, looks to invest in growth-stage, mission-driven companies focused on achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
“As weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable and volatile due to climate change, the need for higher-quality regional and hyper-local weather data has never been more pronounced,” said Climavision Co-Founder and CEO Chris Goode. “Climavision’s increased coverage and improved weather information enable earlier and more accurate weather forecasts that can save lives, limit business disruption, and improve the lives of people and communities across the country.”
Goode spoke to Hypepotamus after the funding news to talk about the growing weather technology space across the Southeast. Goode has worked in the space for 30 years, most recently as the CEO of weather radar technology company Enterprise Electronics Corporation (EEC).
Climavision was formed out of EEC in 2020 with its HQ in Louisville and a significant R&D presence in the Research Triangle area.
The startup combines proprietary weather observation systems with weather-related data collected both from satellites and radar. For Goode, the data services Climavision provides can help “open up the information to a much broader audience and spectrum of users.”
Those include users in “weather-sensitive markets” like agriculture, transportation, renewable energy, insurance, and drone technology.
Edward Beckley, Partner at TPG and senior member of The Rise Fund’s climate investing team, said that Climavision can help fill an important gap currently found in the weather and climate data collection. “Legacy radar systems have often left decision-makers with an incomplete picture of the weather-related challenges they face,” he said. “The rollout of low altitude radar sites will provide proprietary data to Climavision’s innovative AI-driven software platform, facilitating next-generation weather forecasting. As the need for efficient and accurate climate solutions becomes increasingly urgent, we look forward to working with Chris and his expert team of industry veterans to expand the reach of these crucial insights.”
Beckley, along with TPG’s Steven Mandel, and Mariana Popa will join Climavision’s board of directors.
WeatherTech in the Southeast
Climavision’s initial infrastructure rollout has been across the Southeast and Central parts of the United States, two regions with unique and impactful weather conditions.
But it is also the Southeast’s tech talent pipeline that helped make it a natural place to grow a company like Climavision.
“The secret’s starting to get out about [Louisville], and there are a lot of dynamic startups in the area,” added Goode. Another recent Louisville success story, AppHarvest, went public earlier this year as AgTech continues to boom across the region.