Google acquired the Israeli startup BreezoMeter, which collects air quality and environmental data and makes it readily available to its users. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed, but since the founding of the company, it has raised $45 million. The deal was first published on TheMarker.
All environmental hazards in one map
So, what did Google see in the Israeli startup? The system developed by BreezoMeter collects relevant data from the environment – with the help of stations deployed around the world– and using algorithms it manages to predict environmental hazards related to air quality, such as air pollution, pollen, and fires, and their effect on health. The company makes this information accessible through its apps and others using its API - in a variety of fields such as medicine, health, and wellness. Companies such as Bosch, Dyson, Verizon Media, L’Oréal, and AstraZeneca all use BreezoMeter’s API.
According to the company, the information gathered and presented allows users to choose "healthier" paths for physical activity, choose cleaner living areas, know when to turn on certain devices like air conditioners and know how to make adjustments for certain medical treatments. About a year ago, Apple integrated the information from BreezoMeter into its weather app. However, we’re not sure what the fate of this collaboration will be, considering the business rivalry between Apple and the new buyer– Google.
Recently, BreezoMeter launched a new feature that allows users from Israel to report in real time about various environmental hazards, including smoke, and bad and pungent smells, and then see those reports immediately on the company's air quality map.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the acquisition to us and said: "We can confirm that Google has acquired BreezoMeter. Continuing our long-standing activities in the field such as Environmental Insights Explorer, Google Earth Engine and the Air View project , we are excited to work together and continue to provide environmental insights to people, organizations and policy makers around the world.”
BreezoMeter was founded in 2014 by Ran Korber (CEO), Ziv Lautman (CMO) and Emil Fisher (CTO). Since its establishment, the company has raised $45 million from firms such as Fortissimo Capital and Entrée Capital, which was among the first investors in the startup, as well as JumpSpeed Ventures, AxessVentures, Launchpad Digital Health and Idinvest Partners.
The next feature in Google Maps
It is easy to see how BreezoMeter's features can be integrated into the various Google applications – from their search page to their map service. Already today we receive endless information from Google maps – navigation, traffic reports, busy business times, opening and closing hours of businesses, attractions, bike paths, and the best route with the least CO2 emissions. In addition, in recent years, Google has begun to emphasize different aspects of the environment and climate and their accessibility to different populations. Among other things, they monitor and warn against floods in India (a development of the Israeli Development Center) and the spread of fires. So, it's easy to see how a feature of the quality of the air we breathe can help with map navigation, voice assistant notifications, and, of course, the advertising of relevant products.