Company that analyzes satellite data raises $50 million


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Capitalism in space: Orbital Insight, a company that uses computers to analyze satellite imagery of the Earth, has raised $50 million in new investment capital.

The fresh capital will be used to expand its partnerships, increase its analytics products, and build bigger international sales operations in Europe and Asia, Orbital said. The Mountain View, California-based company founded by former NASA scientist and Google engineer James Crawford also will step up recruiting in engineering, data science and design.

Falling satellite launch costs are helping make geospatial imagery a bigger and better source for economists and investors tracking everything from China’s manufacturing to the number of cars parked outside Wal-Mart stores. Venture capital investment in space companies jumped to a record nearly $1.4 billion last year, bringing the total since 2000 to $13.3 billion, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said in a report last month. [emphasis mine]

Nor are the lower launch costs hurting the launch industry. Instead, the industry is booming, as it now has a lot more customers available to buy their launch services.

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