Planet’s acquisition of Terra Bella from Google will enable the capture of daily images of the entire planet
The companies made the historic announcement on February 3, this year. Previously rivals, they have now recognized their like-minded goals. Planet’s CEO and co-founder, Will Marshall, has expressed the admiration he has always held for the Terra Bella team. He sees the acquisition as complementary.
The sale price remains undisclosed
However, Google signed a multi-year contract enabling them to continue purchasing imaging data. This deal will see Planet become a world leader in this market place. Planet had previously hinted at difficulties they experienced acquiring customers. This was due to it only being able to obtain low resolution images, until now.
Terra Bella is a satellite imaging business that was initially purchased by Google in 2014
Google’s intention behind the purchase was to improve its Google Maps imaging. Google had aspirations to surround the Earth in satellites to provide global internet access. The intention behind this was to potentially improve disaster relief through this technology.
The umbrella company, Alphabet, bought Terra Bella for $500 million. Terra Bella had already acquired for itself $900 million prior to the purchase.
Formerly Skybox Imaging, Terra Bella began in 2009 in the living room of four Stanford Graduates
The founders included John Fenwick, Dan Berkenstock, Ching-Yu Hu, and Julian Mann. Their initial business plan was actually a course requirement of their entrepreneurship course.
They initially developed their first high resolution satellites with their own resources. The company’s funding derived from grants. Later they signed a contract with Space Systems Loral to build 13 further satellites. It was after the purchase by Google that they finally launched their satellites. The purchase of an Orbital Sciences Minotaur-C rocket enabled this.
Planet Labs co-founder Marshall, has expressed his excitement over the deal. A significant amount of Terra Bella employees will be transferring to Planet. This will enable the diversification of data and solutions that will be available.
Keep reading …