SoftBank Backs Startup Pioneering Hyper-Accurate Weather Reports

(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp. is investing $7 million in a weather startup that combines traditional forecasting with wireless signals, street cameras, drones and more to provide hyper-accurate reports for power generators and others.

Boston-based ClimaCell Inc. will use the investment from SB Energy, a wholly owned unit of the Japanese conglomerate, to speed deployment of its “microweather” system, the forecasting company said in a statement Monday.

The investment comes as electrical grids grapple with implications of mounting wind and solar power. Both resources are among the cheapest sources of electricity available but are vulnerable to changes in the weather. That’s a problem when weather forecasts are wrong.

“The reason that we have troubling weather forecasts is that we’re using old technology,” ClimaCell Chief Executive Officer Shimon Elkabetz said in an interview.

ClimaCell closed $45 million Series B funding round last year, led by Clearvision Ventures. It was founded in 2015.

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