Location intelligence firm xAd has raised $42.5 million in a fifth round of funding, and it has acquired weather-data site WeatherBug as part of its ambition to predict where consumers will go next.
New York-based xAd is acquiring WeatherBug (a division of Earth Networks), including its mobile and web properties: WeatherBug mobile, desktop and iWatch apps, WeatherBug.com, and WeatherBug connected TV assets.
Meanwhile, the funding came from investors led by Eminence Capital. Also joining the round are W Capital and existing investors IVP and Emergence Capital.
The idea is to connect “the power of location technology with the most accurate weather data,” the companies said.
The acquisition will bring together the scale of xAd’s global, real-world intelligence and contextual database with Germantown, Md.-based WeatherBug’s daily user reach and engagement and a data infrastructure built from one of the largest Internet of Things networks, across ten thousand private weather stations (5x larger than the National Weather Services’ collection).
The deal will expand xAd’s mobile user visibility to 50 million users. Those users have opted in to share their location data many times a day, allowing each technology platform to become richer, more intuitive and accurate.
In addition, xAd will now be able to build deeper data sets to predict patterns and trends for more useful insights that marketers can turn into valuable experiences for consumers. This enhanced data set will also allow businesses to better plan for user behaviors brought on by the real-time nature of weather and other location factors.
“The power of our data gives businesses the fundamental ability to understand and serve their audiences better,” said xAd CEO Dipanshu “D” Sharma, in a statement. “We are driving the future of artificial intelligence by combining data sets that can not only capture the most accurate consumer behavior but also predict where they will go next.”
According to market researcher eMarketer, checking the weather is one of the top three most popular activities on U.S. smartphones. This underscores the cultural expectation for on-demand information that is not only accurate but relevant to a consumer’s location and experience. Weather has also been shown to have an immediate and measurable impact on sales, especially for retailers and other consumer businesses.