Planet Labs Buys BlackBridge Satellite Unit to Expand Fleet

Bloomberg
July 15, 2015

Satel­lite mak­er Plan­et Labs Inc. agreed to buy Black­Bridge Corp.’s geospa­tial busi­ness­es to expand its orbit­ing fleet and pho­to­graph­ic archive, at a time of high demand for qual­i­ty images from space.

Plan­et Labs will buy five Rapid­Eye satel­lites from Leth­bridge, Alber­ta-based Black­Bridge as well as an archive of 6 bil­lion square kilo­me­ters of imagery cap­tured over the past six years, the San Fran­cis­co-based com­pa­ny said in a state­ment Wednes­day. Terms of the deal weren’t dis­closed.
While Plan­et Labs oper­ates the world’s largest con­stel­la­tion of Earth-mon­i­tor­ing satel­lites, it wants to reach new mar­kets. Black­Bridge sells its images to cus­tomers in more than 100 coun­tries. The race to trans­mit high­er-qual­i­ty images from space is heat­ing up as investors, non-prof­it groups and gov­ern­ments increas­ing­ly use the pic­tures to track every­thing from indus­tri­al activ­i­ty to defor­esta­tion. Com­modi­ties traders and oth­ers in the finan­cial indus­try are get­ting more inter­est­ed in geospa­tial imagery, Plan­et Labs Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer Will Mar­shall said in a phone inter­view.

They’re increas­ing­ly real­iz­ing that hav­ing imagery of the whole world every day is some­thing they can uti­lize to make smarter bets on mar­kets,” Mar­shall said.

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