GeoOptics calls its satellites CICERO, which stands for Community Initiative for Cellular Earth Remote Observation. Credit: GeoOptics

TAMPA, Fla. — Private equity firm TPG has poured $100 million into weather services startup Climavision, which will marry satellite and terrestrial radar observations to improve climate intelligence.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Climavision emerged from stealth mode June 2 after being borne out of Enterprise Electronics Corporation, a 50-year old U.S. supplier of weather radar systems with more than 1,200 installations across 95 countries.

Climavision plans to deploy and operate 50 radars over the next two years to address forecast coverage gaps left by government systems across the United States, co-founder and CEO Chris Goode told SpaceNews.

“We’re going to augment the existing network with higher resolution X-band radars,” Goode said.

It also has an exclusive agreement to use Pasadena, California-based GeoOptics’ radio occultation satellites to improve the accuracy of its forecasts for agriculture, insurance, renewable energy and other markets.

GeoOptics has three satellites in its operational fleet, which it is looking to expand as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration seeks more of its radio occultation sounding data.

“They are actually scaling their network as we are on the ground with our terrestrial network so it’s a well-aligned partnership,” Goode said.

He added that building out its own network, rather than relying on publicly available government data like other businesses in this market, will improve the quality of its services.

“The key to producing accurate forecasts is actually understanding the current state of the atmosphere,” he said.

“And that’s where these gaps come into play because we’re not characterizing the current state of the atmosphere in any kind of complete way. Filling in the gaps will allow Climavision to do that and really improve forecasting abilities by virtue of that.”

A lot of the coverage gaps it aims to fill are in rural areas, where it sees a lot of demand from agricultural and renewable energy businesses for improved weather forecasting services.

The plans come amid an increasingly dynamic weather intelligence market, where improvements in satellite data collection are creating new opportunities for businesses.

U.K.-headquartered crop monitoring startup PlanetWatchers, which uses synthetic aperture radar (SAR) to assess insurance claims quickly, said June 3 it raised $3.5 million to support its growth plans.

Early-stage space investor Seraphim Capital and deep tech fund Creative Ventures led the funding round.

“The number of extreme weather events has been increasing by 400% over the past 40 years, leaving the crop insurance industry vulnerable as the victim of climate change,” Creative Ventures general partner Champ Suthipongchai said. 


Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...