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24
JUN

The Real Cloud Wars: The $6 Billion Battle Over The Future Of Weather Forecasting

24 June 2019, Forbes - Susan Adams
For decades, private weather forecasting has been a cozy industry, dominated in the U.S. by AccuWeather, The Weather Company (founded as The Weather Channel in 1982 and bought by IBM for $2.3 billion in 2016) and DTN, which focuses on industrial concerns and was purchased by a Swiss holding company for $900 million in 2017.

But now a perfect storm of macro-trends—ever cheaper processing power, cloud computing, vastly improved AI and a proliferation of low-cost sensors—has opened up the field to a fresh crop of ambitious startups. In aggregate, they have raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors, who think the incumbents look vulnerable to creative new business models.

The impact grows with the size of the concern. Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis utility with $11.5 billion in annual sales and a big wind-power division, saved its customers more than $60 million in fuel costs over seven years using private forecasts from Boulder, Colorado-based Global Weather Corporation. Continue reading this article by clicking here.