Scripps acquires Silicon Valley startup WeatherSphere
CINCINNATI, Ohio – October 8, 2014 — The E.W. Scripps Co. solidified its commitment to weather coverage wherever it’s needed with the acquisition of WeatherSphere, a top-selling provider of weather-related mobile apps.
The acquisition reinforces Scripps’ commitment to creating more products and deeper connections with digital consumers around news and information.
“For decades, the people in our communities have tuned in to our television stations for weather coverage both during emergencies and on an average day,” said Adam Symson, chief digital officer for Scripps. “Acquiring WeatherSphere lets us secure that relationship with an entirely new generation of consumers seeking a way to get weather information wherever they are.”
WeatherSphere founder and CEO Raghav Gupta began by designing a weather app that he released as an experiment. When thousands of people started downloading the app during a series of deadly tornadoes in 2011, Gupta saw first-hand the market for delivering accurate and timely weather information via mobile phones.
“We realized back then that smartphones and mobile technology would play a significant role in ensuring people’s safety,” said Gupta. “Today, we serve those threatened by a weather event, and we also serve the casual weather watcher and everyone in between.”
WeatherSphere’s brands include top-rated weather and lifestyle apps available for sale for all smartphones. By joining Scripps, WeatherSphere will be able to accelerate its pace of development and innovation, said Gupta, who will continue to lead and further build out the existing team in Mountain View, California.
WeatherSphere was recently named to Fast Company Magazine’s “World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Travel,” alongside AirBnB, Lyft, and Google.
WeatherSphere’s portfolio of apps includes:
RadarCast offers stunning hi-definition animated real-time futurecast radar images with lightning strikes on a fluid responsive map. It even notifies users when it’s about to rain and offers weather-based driving directions.
NOAA Hi-Def Radar is a top five paid weather app. It’s the only one of its kind that can show rain in real-time, along with snowfall, lightning strikes, tornadoes, hurricane forecast tracks, severe weather warning areas, clickable storm direction arrows, national drought severity, and wildfire locations on the same map.
WeatherAlerts will wake you up with a loud siren sound whenever a tornado is approaching. It works for hurricanes, snow storms, floods, tsunamis, fires, and many other severe weather events.
Simple Tides makes sure you aren’t surprised at the beach when the water rushes in faster than you expected. This app also gives you the tide patterns at your favorite surf spot and lets you effortlessly view an accurate tide chart for your location.
NOAA Snow Forecast gives a precise snow forecast for the next couple of days in your location instead of a forecast generalized to your whole city or larger area.
Lightning Cast is the only app that instantly alerts you via push-notification whenever there is a lightning strike near any of your designated places.
Hi-Def Animated Radar (Free) shows real-time hi-def animated weather radar images in vivid color on a highly responsive interactive map, along with weather forecast on the same screen.
The WeatherSphere portfolio will expand the Scripps national digital footprint and complement StormShield, its existing paid weather app, which provides emergency alerts to consumers through their smartphones and tablets. Scripps is building its inventory of digital assets that generate revenue as stand-alone apps and also serve as a vehicle for its television and newspaper markets to strengthen consumer connections across traditional and digital media platforms.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.