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Why we invested in Salient Predictions

June 2, 2022
Paul Straub
Salient Predictions

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Gaining new insight from the global water cycle


Around 2006, when I began investing in climate solutions, alarm bells were already sounding about future climate risks. For most people these concerns seemed like a distant or even remote possibility. Unfortunately, the reality of climate change has arrived quickly and unsparingly. Wildfires, drought, historically intense hurricanes, extreme precipitation, and unprecedented heatwaves are creating a tragic record of climate-driven events impacting millions of people with increasing frequency. In addition to rapidly decarbonizing our global economy, we now also need better solutions to mitigate risk and adapt.

This is why we’re so excited to lead the seed round in Salient Predictions, a company helping society prepare for and adapt to climate change by delivering the world’s most accurate subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) weather forecasts and analytics. Short-term weather forecasts deliver high accuracy and resolution for periods within 7 to 10 days, but these models begin to degrade after that period. And seasonal forecasting hasn’t historically been much better than guesswork. Salient’s core technology evolved from decades of research at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and MIT. It incorporates novel ocean and land-surface data into machine learning models that produce the world’s most accurate weather forecasts for periods from 2 to 52 weeks out.

We're fortunate to work alongside Co-Founder & CEO Matt Stein and Co-Founder & President Ray Schmitt, who bring extraordinary and complementary backgrounds to this mission. Dr. Schmitt spent over 40 years as a scientist at Woods Hole and is renowned for his work on ocean mixing, the global water cycle and correlations between ocean salinity and precipitation. Matt recently joined as CEO from Jupiter Intelligence, where he was an early employee who led commercialization of their climate risk solutions. Together they’ve assembled an incredible team of scientists, machine learning engineers, startup veterans, and domain experts spanning industries from energy to agriculture.    

We’ve been looking at new approaches to climate risk for several years, driven by the belief that anyone running a business now must factor climate impacts into their planning and operations. But preparing for unprecedented seasonal weather fluctuation and extreme events can be daunting. Unfortunately, this challenge will only escalate as seasonal patterns deviate further from historical norms and as long-tail events grow in frequency and severity. Salient provides the critical insights companies need to make decisions within a calendar year to mitigate risk, improve resiliency and optimize their operations with confidence.

The team has an ambitious product roadmap and they've already begun serving global customers across energy, agriculture and insurance. In leading this round, we're also excited to include a terrific group of co-investors who have their own deep ties to these industries including Munich Re Ventures, Powerhouse Ventures, Endeavor8, First Star Ventures and Blindspot Ventures. We believe Salient can become a new global standard for seasonal weather forecasting while helping society prepare for and respond to our increasingly changing climate.


Ray Schmitt, Sam Levang & Matt Stein


Climate | AI

First Investment

Seed - 2022

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