Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) said Tuesday that it agreed to buy satellite company Skybox Imaging for $500 million. The company specializes in building satellites and gathering data, particularly high-quality images and video of landscapes.
Google plans to use Skybox’s satellites to update its online mapping services, Google Maps and Google Earth, with high-quality, real-time photos and videos. Additional plans include using the technology to improve Internet access and disaster relief, which the Mountain View, California, tech giant says has been a long-term goal.
Prior to the acquisition, Skybox Imaging reportedly raised $91 million in funding from investors including Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper & Associates, Caanan Partners, CrunchFund, Norwest Venture Partners and Asset Management Ventures.
Google’s acquisition of Skybox is still pending regulatory approval.