Google acquires satellite maker Skybox for USD 500 million

In order to improve the quality of the satellite imagery in its digital map, Google has acquired US-based satellite maker Skybox, as announced by Bloomberg. Post acquisition, Skybox’s satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. 

This is the second most expensive acquisition by Google this year, considering the earlier Nest labs (USD 3.2 billion) and Deep mind technologies (USD 400 million).

Source: CB Insights

Mountain view, California-based Skybox was launched in 2009 by Co-Founders Julian Mann, Dan Berkenstock, Ching-Yu Hu and John Fenwick. It is known for generating a unique data source describing daily global activity with timely and provide high definition video of the earth. Till date, the company had raised three round of investments having total capital of USD 91 million and consisting of 16 members in its team.

Google Inc. is also planning to put Goa on its 3D map which will provide 3D look of every nook and corner of the state. 

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Economic Times says: The deal is expected to make the search engine giant to serve as a launching pad to send its own satellite to take aerial pictures and provide online access to remote areas of the world. 

Making the announcement, Skybox said the deal is not complete yet. 

“Five years ago, we began the Skybox journey to revolutionise access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth. 

Skybox and Google, the statement said, believe in making information (especially accurate geospatial information) accessible and useful. 

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KGUN9 says: Google hopes to build more satellites that could be used to beam Internet access to points around the world.
Skybox is a 5-year-old startup located a mile-and-half from Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters.

NBC news says: Google Inc. plans to use Skybox’s satellite already in orbit to supplement the material that it licenses from more than 1,000 sources, including other satellite companies such as DigitalGlobe and Astrium.

Google hopes to build more satellites that could be used to beam Internet access to points around the world. That would expand an effort that Google began a year ago when it unveiled “Project Loon” — a venture featuring jellyfish-shaped balloons equipped with antennas to bring the Internet to parts of the world without the proper wiring to get online.

The expansion into satellites comes two months after Google bought drone maker Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed amount.

More from Bloomberg: Google is scouring the technology universe for deals that push into new markets and bolster its traditional services, including mapping and search. The company is also looking for new ways to offer online services to users through Project Loon, which it unveiled last year to help connect people in rural or remote areas to the Web using balloons and other machinery.

“They’re just growing the number of eyeballs and clicks potentially by billions,” said Scott Hubbard, a consulting professor at Stanford University in aeronautics and astronautics. “That has to be good for them.”

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