Understory closes on $5.25 million Series B round

Madison weather tech startup expanding internationally


Madison-based weather technology startup Understory has raised a $5.25 million Series B investor round, the company announced.

Understory, established in 2016, manufactures weather sensors that are placed in fields to collect hyperlocal weather data. The company then analyzes data on historical, current and forecasted weather events to provide insights and early risk detection. It has been used by the agriculture and insurance sectors. Earlier this year, the company launched a new initiative to also use the technology to monitor urban air pollution.

Last year, Understory raised a $7.5 million growth round, led by Madison-based venture capital firm 4490 Ventures and with participation by former AOL CEO Steve Case’s Midwest-focused Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. The company has now raised a total of $22.25 million.

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The Series B was led by Palo Alto, California-based True Ventures, and 4490 and Rise of the Rest again participated. Understory plans to use the new capital to finance its international expansion, hire more employees, and expand its headquarters.

The company, currently based at 316 W. Washington Ave., plans to move next month to a new office at 4916 E. Broadway, Suite 200, in Madison. Understory currently has 17 employees, 12 of whom are based in Madison. The company plans to double its Madison headcount in the next year, it said.

“Our commitment to disrupt outdated methods for dynamic weather analysis is the primary focus for this next stage of growth,” said Alex Kubicek, co-founder and chief executive officer of Understory. “We are excited to work with our investors who are supporting our mission of creating a higher standard for hyperlocal weather monitoring.”

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“Understory is fundamentally transforming how weather data infrastructure will be used across the globe,” said Puneet Agarwal, partner at True Ventures. “The on-the-ground insight of critical weather events is essential for innovative decision-making across a wide variety of industries. We look forward to witnessing Understory continue to remodel the accessibility and accuracy of real-time weather information on a global scale.”

Understory’s weather stations use artificial intelligence to give exact, real-time measures of temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar radiation, wind, hail and air quality. The startup now has 600 stations globally.

The startup also was recently named to the Forbes 25 Most Innovative AgTech Startups in 2018, and co-founder and vice president of engineering Bryan Dow was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 for 2019 in the Manufacturing & Industry category.

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