IBM acquires The weather Company to extend its Internet of Things range
IBM has entered an agreement to buy The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties. The acquired assets include WSI, weather.com, Weather Underground and The Weather Company brand. The Weather Channel will not be part of the acquisition but it will license weather forecast data and analytics from IBM under a long-term contract.
IBM says the combination of technology and expertise from the two companies will be foundation for the new Watson IoT Unit and Watson IoT Cloud platform as part of its $3 billion investment strategy in this sector.
The Weather Company’s cloud data system runs the fourth most-used mobile app daily in the United States and handles 26 billion inquiries a day.
On closing the deal, IBM will acquire The Weather Company’s product and technology assets that include meteorological data science experts, precision forecasting and a cloud platform that ingests, processes, analyses and distributes petabyte sized data sets instantly. The Weather Company’s models analyze data from three billion weather forecast reference points, more than 40 million smartphones and 50,000 airplane flights per day, allowing it to offer a broad range of data-driven products and services to 5000 clients.
The Weather Company’s mobile and web properties serves 82 million unique monthly visitors. IBM said it plans to develop The Weather Company’s digital advertising platform and skills, commercializing weather information through data-driven advertising with additional ad-sponsored consumer and business solutions.
“The next wave of improved forecasting will come from the intersection of atmospheric science, computer science and analytics,” said Weather Company CEO David Kenny. “Upon closing of this deal, The Weather Company will continue to be able to help improve the precision of weather forecasts and deepen IBM’s Watson IoT capabilities, Airlines use it to manage turbulence, Insurance companies use it to judge risk and Agricultural companies use it to manage crops”. If combined with Watson, a computing system skilled at parsing unusual types of data and making statistically based decisions across a range of industries, the data could be more valuable”, he added.