updated 05:32 pm EDT, Sun May 25, 2014
Company takes high-definition images with satellites, deal could be worth $1 billion
Google may be looking to further expand its technology line-up, this time reaching into orbit for its most recent acquisition talks. Sources tell Techcrunch that the search giant is in talks with Skybox Imaging, a startup satellite company that takes high-definition images and video via satellite. The deal is reportedly being valued at upwards of $1 billion.
The deal was first reported by The Information back in April, but has since grown to several direct meetings between the companies. It is still possible for the deal to break down as nothing has been finalized, but one source confirms that the buyout is going to happen. It was estimated that Skybox was worth between $500 and $700 million in 2012.
Speculation for the purpose of Google bringing a satellite company into its midst could mean several types of improvements for Google Maps. The ability to gather real-time data of locations compared to periodic scans could prove to be beneficial to the company. Purchase could also mean an improvement to Google Earth for the same ability to track real-time changes.
Skybox Imaging could also be brought in to bolster Project Loon, joining UAV company Titan Aerospace on the project. Project Loon is an initiative by Google that involves high-altitude solutions for Internet access in rural areas. Titan Aerospace was purchased in April after being approached by both Google and Facebook.