Google leads US$36m funding round for Indian space startup Pixxel

Google leads US$36m funding round for Indian space startup Pixxel

Google is leading a $36 million funding round for Bengaluru-based Pixxel, a satellite-image startup, in the first major investment in the Indian space sector, Reuters reported.

Google said it had invested Pixxel through its India Digitalisation Fund, which focuses on investment in India-based startups.

Founded in 2019, the startup successfully attracted US$71 million from investor Accenture PLC.

The government launched its privatization policy in April, according to reporters.

The Indian startup is building a constellation of satellites that can identify mineral deposits or crop productivity by analyzing an image’s spectral signature.

Founder and Chief Executive Awais Ahmed said Pixxel would be “the most valued space tech company in India after this investment”.

“We work with satellite data and Google does a lot of work around that with agriculture and environment,” Ahmed told Reuters. “They also have Google Earth … so a combination of that led to them seeing a benefit.”

Pixxel is among the many private companies looking for a fillip since India opened the space sector, encouraging startups to deliver broadband services like Starlink and to power applications like tracking supply chains.

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