Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is said to be close to striking a deal to acquire Skybox Imaging, a company that builds satellites that specialize in capturing high-resolution image for businesses, according to Tech Crunch. The website based its report on information from three different sources.
Last month, The Information reported that the search engine giant is in early discussion to purchase Skybox Imaging. According to one of TechCrunch’s sources, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is already in advanced talks with the management of Skybox Imaging. The search engine giant has already reportedly conducted two meetings and at least three rounds of acquisition talks with the startup over the past several weeks.
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Rumors about potential targets
The report regarding the search engine giant’s potential acquisition of Skybox Imaging came after rumors about it surfaced within the satellite industry. There were also rumors that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was interested in Planet Labs, another startup working in the same field of satellite imaging.
One of the sources estimated and suggested that the acquisition price for Skybox Imaging is around $1 billion.Another source noted that Skybox was valued between $500 million and $700 million. The startup raised as much as $70 million during its last fund-raising round in 2012.
Why is Google interested in Skybox?
The search engine giant is currently using different sources for Google Earth, the real-world imaging component of its Google Maps service. In addition, the search engine giant has a business unit called Earth Enterprise, which provides mapping data to businesses and organizations. Acquiring Skybox Imaging will enable Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to have a primary and reliable source of data and update its mapping service regularly.
Scott Soenen, CTO of BlackBridge opined, “A constellation of small imaging satellites, like what we already have in place today with RapidEye or what Skybox may have in the future, would give Google a very reliable, rich content source for imagery analytics and related applications.”
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) recently acquired Titan Aerospace, a startup maker of high-altitude, solar powered-satellites that provide access to data services worldwide. The terms of the deal were not disclosed
The search engine giant did not comment regarding the report about Skybox Imaging.