Accenture Invests in Satellite Tech Startup Pixxel To Offer AI-powered Solutions on Climate Issues

Accenture, through its venture capital firm arm, Accenture Ventures, has announced today that it has made a strategic investment in Bengaluru-based space/satellite technology company, Pixxel, which has emerged as a leader in cutting-edge earth imaging technology since it was founded in 2018.

With Accenture Ventures, Accenture partners and invests in growth stage Deep-tech B2B startups to deliver innovation to its clients.

To date, Pixxel has raised a total of $33 million in funding to date. Based in Bangalore with a presence in Los Angeles, Pixxel is building the world’s highest resolution hyperspectral imaging satellite constellation in order to offer industry AI-powered insights that discover, solve, and predict climate issues at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellites.

Pixxel had earlier signed an MoU with Indian space agency ISRO's commercial arm, NSIL, to launch the its first remote-sensing satellite and India's first private remote-sensing satellite on an ISRO PSLV rocket in early 2021 however the launch with ISRO didn't take off but the startup managed to launch its first satellite, part of its eventual 36-satellite planned satellite-constellation, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission, in April this year.

With funding from Accenture, Pixxel will now join Accenture Ventures’ Project Spotlight, an engagement and investment program by Accenture focused on investing in companies that create or apply disruptive enterprise technologies. In addition to funding, Project Spotlight connects emerging technology software startups with the Global 2000 to fill strategic innovation gaps, and offers extensive access to Accenture’s domain expertise and enterprise clients, helping startups harness human creativity and deliver on the promise of their technology.

Pixxel’s satellites can capture images at hundreds of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum and reveal key data about the health of our planet that is invisible to other satellites. 

Pixxel’s planned constellation of hyperspectral satellites will reshape how businesses across agriculture, defense, mining, environmental, and other critical industries make decisions on a global level to reduce their environmental impact. The data from Pixxel’s 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, Pixxel’s 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 scale 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.

Interestingly, Pixxel was one of the very few finalists in the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition in 2017 and then in 2022 launched its own satellites as part of SpaceX’s fourth dedicated rideshare mission. The team (now Pixxel) was one of the 20 finalists out of the 2500 that had applied globally for the competition, and had presented a working Hyperloop pod prototype to Elon Musk at the SpaceX headquarters in LA.

Started in late 2018, by BITS Pilani graduates Kshitij Khandelwal and Awais Ahmed, Pixxel was Asia's only space startup to qualify for the 2019 Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator in Los Angeles


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