Bengaluru-based spacetech startup Pixxel raises $7.3 million in a seed funding round from Omnivore and Techstars. The round also saw participation from existing investors, including Lightspeed Ventures, Blume Ventures, growX, Ryan Johnson, and others.
This follows-up Pixxel’s $5 million seed funding round raised in August 2020.
While announcing the funding, Awais Ahmed, Co-founder and CEO, Pixxel, also revealed the startup’s plans to build the world’s highest resolution hyperspectral satellite constellation, to be launched within the next few months.
“Our new funding enables us to build a health monitor for the planet through the world’s most advanced hyperspectral small satellites. Our hyperspectral satellites will allow society to tackle many of humanity’s most pressing issues, and we believe, they will become the holy grail of remote sensing — providing the best combination of spatial, temporal, and spectral resolutions to date, empowering humans to see the earth like never before,” Awais said in a statement.
According to the startup, the additionals funds will also be utilised to boost its efforts in making the agricultural industry more efficient. Pixxel’s satellite imagery, along with agricultural datasets, can help in improving the existing crop and water management analytics and also identify issues that come up during the crop growing season.
“The funding will also enable Pixxel to continue to rapidly scale its operations to meet the growing demand for high-quality remote sensing data through hyperspectral imaging,” the startup noted.
Pixxel — also a part of YS’s coveted Tech30 startups — was founded in 2019 by Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal to build a constellation of Earth-imaging small satellites to be deployed into the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to monitor the planet 24×7.
Further, Pixxel revealed that it is working to build hyperspectral Earth-imaging satellites that will beam down 50X more information than the common multispectral satellites by capturing light reflected from Earth in a far more detailed manner and in narrower bands than just red, green, and blue.
To date, the startup has partnered with the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Maxar, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for further spacetech activities.
Pixxel was slated to launch its first satellite Anand on February 28 via ISRO’s PSLV-C51. However, the startup had to delay the launch by a few weeks due to software issues that came up during the final satellite testing.
“This allows Pixxel to capture exact chemical signatures and offer much more accurate solutions to seemingly unsolvable issues in agriculture, energy, and environmental conservation. Once deployed, Pixxel’s constellation will provide 24-hour global coverage in higher quality resolution and lower cost than any existing satellite competitors,” it had said.
Speaking about the investment, Mark Kahn, Managing Partner at Omnivore, said that he has high hopes from its hyperspectral technology, which can have transformative use cases across the entire agri-value chain.
“Predictive insights from Pixxel’s satellite imagery will augment agricultural productivity and make farming more remunerative for farmers. We are excited to partner with the Pixxel team on this journey,” Mark said in a statement.