US: To expand its workforce and create new data products with a $50 million investment, Orbital Insight has raised a Series C funding round on May 2.
The company is planning to combine frequently updated, high-resolution Earth imagery with other types of geospatial information to create new data products. The firm already uses machine learning and computer vision to count and measure objects in satellite imagery provided by operators, including Airbus Defence and Space, DigitalGlobe, ImageSat International, MDA, Planet and Urthecast, to offer clients information on traffic patterns in retail store parking lots, global crude oil inventories, regional poverty levels and surface water reserves.
“We are on the precipice of having daily five-meter imagery of the world, and then daily one-meter imagery within a few years,” James Crawford, Orbital Insight founder and chief executive, said in a statement. “Until very recently, the standard was weekly 15-meter imagery, with one-meter imagery available much less frequently.”
“We’ve only just begun to uncover a handful of signals, but we’ve already seen the impact they can have on financial, energy and insurance markets, as well as society as a whole,” Crawford said. “We’re looking forward to having an even greater presence as we scale alongside the industry.”
“The proliferation of affordable drones and satellites is generating unprecedented amounts of geospatial imagery, and Orbital Insight is making that data actionable,” Bill Coughran, Sequoia Capital partner and Orbital Insight board member, said in the statement. “Just as Google is organizing the world’s information, Orbital Insight is interpreting it.”
Orbital Insight’s Series C round was led by Sequoia Capital and included Envision Ventures, Balyasny Asset Management, Geodesic Capital, ITOCHU Corporation, Intellectus Partners, GV, Lux Capital and CME Ventures. Since it was founded in 2013, Orbital Insight has raised $78.7 million.