Startups

Planet Labs Acquires VanderSat

Planet image of phytoplankton in the Sea of Marmara, taken June 10, 2021. Via Planet

ICYMI: Planet Labs has agreed to acquire VanderSat, an analytics provider specializing in water and crop health data, in a transaction valued at ~$28M. The deal represents Planet’s fourth acquisition, as the satellite operator prepares to go public.  

Key data: In July, Planet announced a SPAC valued at $2.8B. The earth observation (EO) company has 130+ satellites currently in orbit, hoovering up a vast amount of data. Planet has a constant, all-encompassing view of Earth’s surface, 24/7.

Paraphrasing a bit, Planet’s MO is bettering Earth through satellite data from the skies. VanderSat is a natural complement. The Netherlands-based startup uses passive microwave sensor data from national space agencies to improve agricultural conditions for industry, nonprofit, and government customers.

Where VanderSat shines: EO has no shortage of data to analyze. VanderSat develops sophisticated algorithms to process specialized data and produce digestible insights and human-readable reports. 

Industry watchers say EO is destined for consolidation. Acquiring VanderSat could help Planet expand ag inroads—and extend an analytical layer over a key type of Earth data. “When one combines their new data with Planet’s, the value is far greater than the sum of its parts,” Will Marshall, CEO and co-founder of Planet, said in a statement.

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