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Spacetech startup Pixxel closes seed funding round

Spacetech startup Pixxel closes seed funding round
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
18 Mar, 2021

Bengaluru-based Pixxel Space on Thursday said it has raised $2.3 million from Omnivore and Techstars to close a seed round of funding at $7.3 million. 

The latest investment is the second tranche of the round.  

The startup in August 2020 raised $5 million in the first tranche of the round, led by Blume Ventures, growX Ventures and Lightspeed India. Inventus Capital India, Stanford Angels, and earth imaging veteran Ryan Johnson also participated in the round. 

The startup plans to deploy the fresh funds to scale its operations, as per a statement. It also looks to meet the growing demand for high-quality remote sensing data obtained through hyperspectral imaging -- a spectroscopy-based technique that involves a collection of hundreds of images at different wavelengths for the same spatial area. 

Founded in 2019 by Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal, Pixxel is set to launch the first satellite capable of hyperspectral imaging in a few months, with a goal to build an entire constellation of such satellites. 

This network will deliver Earth imagery at a resolution higher than any other satellite system in the world, the company said. It will beam down 50x more information by capturing light reflected from Earth in far more detail and in much narrower bands than just red, green and blue, it said. 

The data will enable the company to analyse chemical signatures and provide a detailed view to detect, monitor, or even predict geographical phenomena, including issues associated with agriculture, energy consumption, or the environment.  

“Our new funding enables us to build a health monitor for the planet through the world’s most advanced hyperspectral small satellites. This enables us to capture some of the richest imagery that’s ever been beamed down to earth,” Ahmed, also the CEO at Pixxel, said while commenting on the firm’s satellite system, which is said to be more affordable compared to other similar systems. 

He added, “Our hyperspectral satellites will allow society to tackle many of humanity's most pressing issues and we believe they will become the holy grail of remote sensing -- providing the best combination of spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions to date and empowering humans to see the earth like never before.” 

A part of the funds from the seed round will go towards boosting imaging efforts to make the agricultural industry more efficient in the country and worldwide, Pixxel said in the statement.  

The round, combined with an earlier pre-seed funding round of $700,000 in 2019, takes the total capital raised by the startup to $8 million.