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Monsanto's Billion-Dollar Bet Brings Big Data to the Farm

Monsanto's Billion-Dollar Bet Brings Big Data to the Farm
Photograph by Natalie Behring/Bloomberg

As if we needed any more proof that the Big Data phenomenon is well and truly upon us, Monsanto has agreed to acquire the Climate Corp. for $930 million. The real stunner of a deal marks one of the largest buys of a new-era data analytics company.

Climate Corp. was founded in 2006 under the name Weatherbill by a pair of Google engineers who wanted to capitalize on the world’s increasingly unpredictable climate. The new company offered insurance against weather-related incidents such as a rainout at the U.S. Open tennis tournament or a concert cancelation. As time went on, the company settled on a business model that revolved around providing a new type of insurance for farmers.