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Alphabet Inc’s Google leads $36 million funding round for Bengaluru-based space startup Pixxel

Start-up has raised more than $71 million from investors, including Accenture PLC

Reuters Bangalore Published 04.06.23, 04:32 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

Alphabet Inc’s Google is leading a $36 million funding round for Bangalore-based Pixxel, a satellite-image start-up, in the first major investment in the Indian space sector since the government launched its privatisation policy in April.

Pixxel, founded in 2019, is building a constellation of satellites that have the ability to identify mineral deposits or the productivity of crops by analysing the spectral signature of an image.


Miner Rio Tinto Ltd and Australian agritech company DataFarming are clients, Pixxel said.

The start-up has raised more than $71 million from investors, including Accenture PLC. Pixxel did not specify the valuation it reflected.

Google said it had made the investment in Pixxel through its India Digitalisation Fund, which focuses on investment in India-based start-ups.

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

That had been rocket and launch provider Skyroot Aerospace, valued at an estimated $163 million, according to Tracxn, which tracks startups.

“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 start-ups to deliver broadband services such as Starlink and to power applications such as tracking supply chains. Reuters

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