Pixxel, a Bengaluru-based startup is preparing for its first-ever Earth-imaging satellite later this year, with a planned mission aboard a Soyuz rocket. The roughly one and a half-year-old company is moving fast, and today it announced a $5 million seed funding round to help it accelerate. The funding was granted by Blume Ventures, Lightspeed India Partners, and growX ventures, while a number of angel investors participated.
This isn’t the first time Pixxel is raising money from investors; it raised $700,000 in pre-seed money from Techstars and others last year. Since this investment has more capital invested in the business, and the startups plan to use it to grow its team and to continue to fund the development of its Earth observation constellation.
The aim is to fully deploy said constellation, which will be made up of 30 satellites, by 2020. Once all of the company’s small satellites are on orbit, the Pixxel network will be able to provide globe-spanning imaging capabilities on a daily basis.
Pixxel’s technology depends on very small satellites (basically the size of a bear fridge) that nonetheless provide a very high-quality image at a cadence that even large imaging networks that already exist would have trouble delivering. The startup’s founders, Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal created the company while still in the process of finishing up the last year of their undergraduate studies. The founding team took part in Techstars’ Starubst Space Accelerator last year in LA.