This investment follows a $25 million Series A funding round by Pixxel in March 2022 and the launch of its first satellite as part of SpaceX’s April Transporter-4 payload
Accenture has made a strategic investment, through Accenture Ventures, in Pixxel, an earth imaging technology start-up. Based in Bangalore with a presence in Los Angeles, the latter is building the world’s highest resolution hyperspectral imaging satellite constellation to offer industry AI-powered insights that discover, solve, and predict climate issues at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellites.
Accenture’s investment in Pixxel follows a $25 million Series A funding round announced by the latter in March 2022 and the launch of their first satellite as part of SpaceX’s April Transporter-4 payload. More than 50 customers have signed pre-launch agreements with Pixxel from industries spanning agriculture, oil and gas, mining, and climate sectors. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.
“We continue to take great interest in start-ups within the burgeoning space industry, which some have forecasted will reach $1 trillion in revenue by 2040. Pixxel is a particularly exciting company sitting at the intersection of space technology and sustainability,” said Tom Lounibos, managing director of Accenture Ventures.
He cited how beneficial this technology would be in predicting a famine before a crop infestation takes over or stopping an oil spill before it endangers delicate oceanic biospheres. “Pixxel’s hyperspectral imaging technology has the potential to do just that, and in doing so, could help scientists address some of the world’s most pressing challenges to our Earth,” Lounibos added.
“Our investment in Pixxel reflects our ongoing and active engagement with the promising start-up ecosystem in India and more such engagements are key for creating solutions that drive real world impact,” said Mahesh Zurale, senior managing director, lead – Advanced Technology Centers in India, Accenture. “With so many aspects of our daily lives being increasingly impacted by climate and sustainability issues, we believe Pixxel’s Earth Health Monitoring can play a crucial role by enabling global organisations to detect potentially damaging events early on and help prevent them.”
Pixxel is the latest company to join Accenture Ventures’ Project Spotlight, an engagement and investment program focused on investing in companies that create or apply disruptive enterprise technologies. In addition to funding, Project Spotlight connects emerging technology software start-ups with the Global 2000 to fill strategic innovation gaps. It also offers access to Accenture’s domain expertise and enterprise clients, helping start-ups harness creativity and deliver on their technology's promise.
“We’re excited to join Accenture’s Project Spotlight and collaborate with Accenture’s innovation labs, business and industry experts, and powerful clients and ecosystem partners across aerospace, science, technology and sustainability,” said Pixxel CEO and co-founder Awais Ahmed. “Accenture’s global reach and support will help accelerate our ambitious mission to create a health monitor for the Earth and leverage our technology to address some of the most pressing issues facing our planet.”
Pixxel’s satellites can capture images at hundreds of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum and reveal critical data about the health of Earth that is invisible to other satellites. Its planned constellation of hyperspectral satellites will help agriculture, defense, mining, environmental and other critical industries make decisions on a global level to reduce their environmental impact. The company claimed that data from its satellites provides 8x more information and 50x better resolution than existing in-market options.
Pixxel’s first commercial phase satellites are scheduled to be launched in early 2023, along with the commercial sale of its data. With six satellites flown in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) around a 550 km altitude, its hyperspectral constellation will be able to cover any point on the globe every 48 hours.
With even more satellites scheduled to launch in late 2023, Pixxel will achieve daily global coverage by early 2024. The learnings from the data beamed down by this constellation will provide a global perspective of planetary-scale ecosystems and biospheres that will be used to create an AI-informed analysis platform and a digital twin of the Earth.