Space

Planet Labs raises $52 million for fleet of satellites

Planet Labs raises $52 million...
Flock 1 will be the largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites in orbit
Flock 1 will be the largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites in orbit
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Satellite company Planet Labs has secured US$52 million in new funding
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Satellite company Planet Labs has secured US$52 million in new funding
The new funding brings the company's total raised to over $65 million
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The new funding brings the company's total raised to over $65 million
Planet Labs satellites, or "Doves," are small and orbit at a low altitude
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Planet Labs satellites, or "Doves," are small and orbit at a low altitude
Flock 1 will be the largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites in orbit
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Flock 1 will be the largest fleet of Earth imaging satellites in orbit
Planet Labs claims that it is capturing a high frequency and quality of imagery
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Planet Labs claims that it is capturing a high frequency and quality of imagery
The company aims to provide universal access to information about the changing planet
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The company aims to provide universal access to information about the changing planet
Imagery and data will be made accessible for both commercial and humanitarian purposes
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Imagery and data will be made accessible for both commercial and humanitarian purposes
Planet Labs' three principles are do good, be responsible and provide open information
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Planet Labs' three principles are do good, be responsible and provide open information
Planet Labs was founded in 2010 and has a staff of engineers, scientists and developers
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Planet Labs was founded in 2010 and has a staff of engineers, scientists and developers
Planet Labs' staff-members have worked at SpaceX, Space Systems Loral, NASA and Google
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Planet Labs' staff-members have worked at SpaceX, Space Systems Loral, NASA and Google
The satellites are designed and built in San Francisco
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The satellites are designed and built in San Francisco
Planet Labs claims that its satellites will provide an entirely new data set
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Planet Labs claims that its satellites will provide an entirely new data set
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Space and analytics firm Planet Labs has secured US$52 million in new funding, bringing it to within touching distance of launching a fleet of Earth imaging satellites in early 2014. The new investment brings the company’s total raised to over $65 million, and will help in its aim to generate imagery of and data about Earth, which will be openly accessible for both commercial and humanitarian purposes.

Planet Labs was founded in 2010 and has a staff of engineers, scientists and developers, many of whom have worked previously at SpaceX, Space Systems Loral, NASA and Google. The organization's stated aim is “to provide universal access to information about the changing planet.”

Last month saw the successful launch of two test satellites or "Doves" – the third and fourth since April. The test launches are a precursor to Flock 1, a fleet of 28 further satellites that, along with Doves 1-4, will be the largest group of Earth imaging satellites in orbit.

Whilst the Doves are smaller and orbit at a lower altitude than other satellites, helping to reduce costs, Planet Labs claims that it is capturing a much higher frequency and quality of imagery than has otherwise been possible. The company website says, “By giving people a view of the Earth in near real-time, we intend to spur people, companies, and governments to action.”

This recent round of series B funding for the San Francisco-based firm included new investors Yuri Milner, Industry Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Lux Capital, and Ray Rothrock. Existing investors include DFJ, Capricorn, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures (OATV), Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Innovation Endeavors, Data Collective, and AME Cloud Ventures.

Source: Planet Labs

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