Understory returning to Madison after $7.5 million raise

Understory is returning to Madison in the coming months after a $7.5 million fundraising round that included Monsanto’s venture capital arm.

The company, a UW-Madison spinoff that launched in 2012, uses sensors to gather weather data and help industries ranging from agriculture to insurance. Its sensors, which currently are in Boston, Kansas City and Dallas, have been able to track tornados and hailstorms “in ways no one else has seen,” founder and CEO Alex Kubicek said at a WARF panel yesterday.

In search of money, Understory had moved to Boston, where the company saw success and developed its product.

But now, Kubicek said the company’s coming back partly to help further Madison’s reputation as a high-tech city that attracts and retains top talent.

“We have a lot of work to do, but we’re going to get there at some point,” Kubicek said.

4490 Ventures, which led the round, asked Understory’s founders whether they’d consider coming back to Wisconsin, to which Kubicek replied “absolutely.” 4490 Ventures Managing Director Greg Robinson will now join the company’s board, as will Puneet Argawal of the California-based fund True Ventures.

Others participating in the round included RRE Ventures, SK Ventures and Wisconsin-based CSA Partners.

See the release