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London Tech Week

Pixxel raises $36M, becoming the first Google-funded space-tech company ever

Picture Credit: Pixxel

Pixxel, a hyperspectral earth-imaging technology startup, has announced a successful Series B funding round, raising $36 million. The round witnessed participation from new investors such as Google, alongside existing investors Radical Ventures, Lightspeed, Blume Ventures, growx, Sparta, and Athera.

World’s highest-resolution satellite constellation

The fresh funding will propel Pixxel’s mission to develop the world’s first and highest-resolution hyperspectral satellite constellation, enabling the delivery of actionable climate insights on a global scale. It will also drive further advancements in Aurora, Pixxel’s AI-powered analytics platform, making hyperspectral analysis accessible to a broader audience. The constellation aims to provide global coverage every 24 hours and contribute to the detection, monitoring, and prediction of global phenomena in agriculture, mining, environment, and energy use cases.

This funding milestone follows Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s commitment to allocate $300 million to support domestic entrepreneurs during “Google For India 2022” in December of last year.

The LA and Bangalore-based startup’s satellite data will play a critical role in closely monitoring emissions, water pollution, gas leaks, oil spills, soil composition, forest biodiversity, and crop health with unprecedented detail and faster speeds for global organizations.

Moreover, the new funds will strengthen Pixxel’s plans to launch six satellites by 2024 and an additional 18 satellites by 2025.

Awais Ahmed, Co-founder and CEO of Pixxel, expressed his belief in the planet’s future, emphasising the importance of monitoring and safeguarding its health. Ahmed stated, “With this round of funding, we are even closer now to realizing our mission of building a health monitor for the planet and empowering people around the world to make informed decisions about our collective well-being.” He further expressed gratitude to the investors for their unwavering support and commitment to Pixxel’s vision, highlighting their collaborative effort to create a positive impact on the planet’s future.

Co-founded by Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal when they were just 20 years old, Pixxel aims to establish a comprehensive health monitoring system for the planet by 2024. The space tech startup has collaborated with renowned organizations such as the Indian Space Research Organization, NASA JPL, and SpaceX, among others.

Pixxel’s hyperspectral satellites capture images at hundreds of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, providing crucial data on the planet’s health. The hyperspectral constellation, coupled with an advanced data analytics platform, will offer up to 10 times more information compared to current multispectral satellites and increase spectral resolution by 50 times.

As the demand for better environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data monitoring and measurement intensifies, Pixxel’s capabilities will assist organisations in complying with national and global sustainability standards.

Pixxel has experienced significant growth, successfully launching three pathfinder missions into orbit and expanding its customer base by five times. The company recently secured a five-year contract with the NRO Commercial Systems Program Office (CSPO) for the Strategic Commercial Enhancements for Commercial Hyperspectral Capabilities program.

With this latest funding, Pixxel’s total venture funding reaches $71 million, as new investors join existing backers like Lightspeed, Radical Ventures, Accenture Ventures, Relativity’s Jordan Noone, Seraphim Capital, Ryan Johnson, Blume Ventures, Sparta LLC, growx Ventures, Athera Venture Partners, Omnivore VC, and others.

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