From wheat and soybean fields in India to the fruit farms of America, small farmers and large corporations are turning to the advanced weather prediction software from FootPrint Coalition Ventures portfolio company ClimateAi.
And with a fresh $22 million in financing, ClimateAi is moving to the head of the pack in the race to apply artificial intelligence to address the climate crisis.
For Himanshu Gupta, ClimateAi's co-founder and chief executive, the new funding is another step along his long journey from the small town in Northern India where he grew up.
From those humble beginnings, raised by a father with a high school education in a crowded house with 13 relatives, Gupta has gone on to achieve remarkable heights in both policy and entrepreneurship.
Before turning his hand to business, Gupta drafted the renewable energy section for India's five year plan in 2012.
After a stint at Stanford's business school, and work at the Grantham Institute, Gupta co-founded ClimateAI.
It was at Stanford that Gupta met his co-founder, Max Evans, the son of an Ecuadorian pineapple farmer, who grew up helping his father harvest crops for companies like Driscoll's (a ClimateAI customer).
Big ag businesses like Dole, Driscoll's and Nuveen Natural Capital are using the company's software to help farmers choose, when, how, and what to plant to better protect themselves from the whims of new weather patterns brought on by climate change.
"With growing concerns about climate risk to supply chains, we appreciated the strong demand signals for ClimateAI's solutions," wrote FootPrint Coalition Ventures co-founder and managing director Jon Schulhof, in an email. "Himanshu and the ClimateAI team were early to identify the trend."
Now, with the new funding in hand, ClimateAi is looking to expand geographically into Japan and other markets across Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
New product development is also on the horizon for the company as it seeks to help build up resiliency across the globe as industry faces changing weather patterns like the heat waves that are currently sweeping India or the catastrophic flooding that inundated parts of the U.S. earlier this month.
Over the last year, severe drought in Spain has caused food shortages and rising food prices across Europe.
“As the IPCC’s report released last month highlights, we need swift and drastic action to tackle climate change — but even with it, we are locked into at least twenty years of climate change’s impacts, so adaptation measures are urgent and necessary to prevent the worst impacts," said ClimateAi founder and chief executive Himanshu Gupta in a statement.
Investors including Neotribe, Four Rivers, and others contributed to the company's new financing -- and see the company poised for significant growth.
“With Four Rivers’ deep experience in helping build SaaS companies, we see a significant market opportunity for ClimateAi’s technology and believe that the team and its product are extremely well-positioned to seize the moment in the world of climate change that calls for more AI," said Farouk Ladha, a managing partner at Four Rivers, in a statement.
The company's customers also said that ClimateAI's software was a vital tool in their efforts to mitigate climate-related risk.
“Driscoll’s recognizes that climate change is impacting our berry growing
regions. In order to better prepare for these changes, we are exploring
opportunities to better inform our how we breed our proprietary berry varieties to be more resilient while prioritizing flavor. ClimateAi’s platform has provided us unique insights in understanding the magnitude of weather-related risks our growing regions will face in the future,” said Soren Bjorn, Driscoll’s President of the Americas.