Google agreed to acquire Skybox Imaging, a start-up using a new generation of micro-satellites to capture HD video imagery, in a deal valued at $500 million.
SkySat-1, the first of Skybox’s planned constellation of 24 satellites, began capturing high-resolution views late last year. The satellite can capture up to 90-second video clips at 30 frames per second. The resolution is high enough to view objects like individual shipping containers. The company says it is capable of sub-meter native color and near-infrared imagery.
Skybox is based in Mountain View, California.
“The most revolutionary fact is that SkySat-1 was built and launched for more than an order of magnitude less cost than traditional sub-meter imaging satellites,” said Tom Ingersoll, CEO of Skybox. “This extremely high performance satellite is made possible by proprietary technologies developed by Skybox, including the integrated satellite and imaging systems designs, which enable Skybox to launch a constellation of satellites that can provide imagery timeliness, quality and dependability that was never before possible.”
- Skybox has raised $91 million from Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.
- SkySat-2, an identical version of SkySat-1, is scheduled to launch in 2014. More unique capabilities based on Skybox’s proprietary technologies will be announced in the near future.