Private weather forecasting company Skymet Weather Services has raised about $8-10 million (about Rs 51-64 crore at current exchange rate) from Germany-based InsuResilience Investment Fund. The investor acquired a 26.8 per cent stake, including that of investors, in the company. The money will be used to widen Skymet’s network of automatic weather stations (AWS) and secure new business in weather data, crop measurement, climate analytics, and disaster management, the company said in a statement on Monday. Though the company didn’t disclose the extent of funding, sources said it would be about $8-10 million. The transaction also entails a partial secondary purchase of shares from existing investors, including Omnivore and DMGT. This is subject to regulatory approvals, Skymet said. This round of funding (Series C) is among the highest that Skymet has got so far. Earlier, Skymet had a $1-million Series-A funding from Omnivore, which was raised to $4 million in June 2014.
The investors involved in the Series-A came from more traditional venture capital firms.“We are delighted to partner with InsuResilience Investment Fund and BlueOrchard on this journey. Their knowledge of climate change and insurance makes them an ideal partner for us,” said Jatin Singh, founder and managing director of Skymet. InsuResilience Investment Fund was set up on behalf of the German government by KfW, and managed by Swiss-based impact investment manager BlueOrchard Finance. Omnivore is an impact venture fund that invests in start-ups from India that are developing breakthrough technologies for food, agriculture, and rural economy, while DMGT is a multinational portfolio of media, information and events businesses. EY acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Skymet for this transaction. Skymet has India’s largest network of AWSs (currently 6,000), along with the country’s only lightening detection network, which allows it to track thunderstorms in real time. Over the past decade, Skymet has pioneered short-, medium-, and long-range weather forecasting in India. Through its activities, Skymet is reaching out to more than two million farmers.