Google Acquires Skybox for $500M – Analyst Blog
nternet giant Google Inc. ( GOOGL ) recently acquired Skybox Imaging, a startup that manufactures micro-satellites and offers data analytics services to companies, for $500 million. The purchase is aimed at boosting its mapping services and expanding Internet coverage from the sky.
Skybox Imaging, founded in 2009, combines software technologies with a collection of microsatellites to offer access to dependable, high-resolution images as well as geospatial content. Skybox claims to be the first company to provide high-resolution video as well. Moreover, Skybox, with the help of its microsatellite constellation, provides businesses as well as government agencies a platform to analyze data. Skybox was initially funded by Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.
Following the deal, Google can bolster its mapping services by accessing Skybox’s spacecraft technology. It can use Skybox cameras in the sky to capture high resolution images of the Earth. This will help Google to provide accurate and updated imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth.
Also, Skybox’s data-analytics can augment Google’s efforts to employ deep learning technology in different areas including mobile apps and robotics. Moreover, Skybox can increase Google’s profitability by helping the search giant to take well-informed, data-driven decisions.
The concept of “deep learning” basically means the use of algorithms to model representative behavior from seemingly abstract information. It is a tool that is widely used to develop artificial intelligence.
Eventually Google plans to employ Skybox’s technology and talent for disaster relief and its project to offer Internet services to rural and remote locations around the world.
This announcement follows rumors of Google’s plans to spend over $1 billion to build 180 small, high-capacity satellites as a step forward in exploring new ways to make Internet access available in remote areas of the world.
Google’s latest moves may not tell on its top line just yet, but they seem designed to generate future growth. If successful, this initiative could give the tech giant a competitive edge over companies like Facebook ( FB ) and Apple ( AAPL ) when it comes to mapping services and Internet access to unwired regions.
Rovi Corp ( ROVI ), which is a stock from the same sector, carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is therefore worth considering.