Monsanto, the world’s largest agricultural business company, has acquired weather analytics firm Climate Corporation for over $930 Million. While Monsanto gave the $930M figure, TechCrunch is reporting that the total price is in fact higher than $1 billion.
Climate Corp focuses on predicting hyper-local weather patterns using custom machine-learning algorithms, and then recommending crop insurance and risk-management products based off that. The company was founded in 2006 by a team of software engineers and data scientists who previously worked at Google, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The purchase is intended to boost Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems division, which uses big data to help farmers plant and harvest crops more efficiently. Hyper-local weather tracking will almost certainly help tailor such recommendations. In addition, the technology should allow Monsanto to better market its genetically engineered crop seeds.
This news comes the same day that Monsanto reported increased Q4 losses, of $0.47 per share. The agriculture giant is making a calculated bet that big data and custom risk-management analytics will provide a reliable new source of revenue moving forward.