The E.W. Scripps Company has acquired WeatherSphere, a provider oftop-performing weather apps. WeatherSphere, which now has eight iPhone apps and two for Android including NOAA High-Def Radar, RadarCast, NOAA Snow Forecast and WeatherAlerts. will be used to leverage enhanced radar technology into Scripps’ existing Storm Shield, a paid national weather app geared at providing emergency alerts.
The E.W. Scripps Company has acquired WeatherSphere, a provider of top-performing weather apps.
The sale of the Mountain View, Calif.-based developer, which went for an undisclosed sum, will be used to leverage enhanced radar technology into Scripps’ existing Storm Shield, a paid national weather app geared at providing emergency alerts.
“We wanted to boost our technology offering,” says J.B. Kropp, VP of digital strategy and business development for Scripps. “Adding WeatherSphere just deepens our bench of technical capabilities in the weather space.”
In WeatherSphere, Scripps has nabbed the developer behind the No. 1 paid weather app on iOS and 3 of the top 10 paid weather apps. “The biggest differentiator has been the easiness to use of the radar map,” says Raghav Gupta, founder and CEO of WeatherSphere, who launched his first app in 2012.
The company now has eight iPhone apps and two for Android including NOAA High-Def Radar, RadarCast, NOAA Snow Forecast and WeatherAlerts. All will remain on the market under the WeatherSphere brand, and the company will remain in Mountain View.
“Scripps is going to invest more in WeatherSphere to hire more people and accelerate the pace of development,” Gupta says.
Looking ahead, that development will likely involve surface weather data outside of the apps themselves. “It’s going to be more and more integration into a user’s lifestyle,” Gupta says, noting that with Android and iOS 8, developers can now integrate an app’s features into the OS itself. That could mean integrating local weather information into a smartphone’s calendar or contacts app, for instance.
An honoree among Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Companies in Travel,” WeatherSphere has caught on among travel-related niches including pilots and flight attendants, tour operators and motorcyclists, Gupta says. User demand there has prompted developments including helping users find the best routes on road trips based on the weather.
Kropp says that for now, the focus will be on integrating WeatherSphere’s radar map into Storm Shield, though its technology may eventually find a place on Scripps’ station sites, too.
“Right now we’re focusing on having a B to C connection with the consumer on the weather front,” Kropp says. “The technology is so powerful that Raghav and I have been talking about what other opportunities we can leverage for all the other touch points that Scripps has.”
By Michael Depp