The technology giant in talks to sell Terra Bella, formerly known as Skybox Imaging, to satellite imaging startup Planet, the publication reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The search engine giant acquired the Skybox Imaging satellite business for $500 million in the second quarter of 2014. In 2016, Skybox Imaging was named Terra Bella. The satellites are part of the company’s plans to become a global provider a fast and reliable internet service.
According to the report, some Terra Bella employees would join Planet as part of the deal. Others are expected to be offered positions at the search engine company, the unnamed people said.
Apparently, Google parent Alphabet is curbing plans offer internet access around the globe using a network of small satellites. Instead of developing, the technology giant may be investing in other companies pursuing similar goals. In October 2016, the tech giant reduced its Fiber fast internet service workforce by about 9%.
After buying Skybox in 2014, the search engine giant said that it would use the Skybox satellites to keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. In addition, the search engine giant said that the technology would allow it to improve internet access and disaster relief in different parts of the world.
Google hired satellite industry pioneer Greg Wyler in 2013 to lead a $1 billion-plus project. But Wyler left the firm in 2014 to start his own company OneWeb. After that, Google acquired stake in Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which launches satellites.
The unidentified person told Bloomberg that Google is selling the Skybox business to Planet is an equity transaction. The search giant will be offered a stake in Planet.
Alphabet Shares Update
Shares of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) closed up 0.24% on Monday. The company’s share gained more than 10% during the last year.