Satellite Maker Planet Labs Acquires BlackBridge’s Geospatial Business

Planet Labs has announced it is acquiring BlackBridge’s RapidEye and geospatial businesses.

Planet Labs, which sells satellite imagery collected from its network of 87 tiny satellites, will gain access to RapidEye’s archive of six years of global imagery, which covers six billion square kilometers of land.

The company will also now control the ongoing imagery collection from the existing five RapidEye satellites.

While most satellite imagery is refreshed every two years, Planet Labs wants to increase this frequency so they can let customers monitor land changes like deforestation, agriculture yield, etc.

Will Marshall, CEO of Planet Labs, told TechCrunch that this acquisition will help the company accelerate towards its mission of providing daily imagery from every single point on the earth’s surface.

Both Planet Labs and BlackBridge already sell imagery directly to consumers. However, Marshall explained that the two companies have very different customer bases. Most of Planet Labs’ customers are concentrated in North America and Asia, while BlackBridge’s customers are mainly in Europe and South America.

While no financial information about the deal is being released, Planet Labs has raised $183.1M in funding to date, while BlackBridge has raised $22M, according to CrunchBase.

All of the employees from BlackBridge’s RapidEye and geospatial divisions will stay with Planet Labs, including Ryan Johnson, BlackBridge’s CEO. BlackBridge also has a networking division which will be spun off into a separate company after the deal closes.