Accenture has made a strategic investment, through Accenture Ventures, in Pixxel, a specialist in earth imaging technology. Based in Bangalore with a presence in Los Angeles, Pixxel is building the world’s highest resolution hyperspectral imaging satellite constellation in order to offer industry AI-powered insights that discover, solve, and predict climate issues at a fraction of the cost of traditional satellites.
Pixxel’s satellites can capture images at hundreds of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum and reveal key data about the health of our planet that is invisible to other satellites. The company’s planned constellation of hyperspectral satellites will reshape how businesses across agriculture, defense, mining, environmental, and other critical industries make decisions on a global level to reduce their environmental impact.
“We continue to take great interest in startups within the burgeoning space industry, which some have forecasted will reach $1 trillion in revenue by the year 2040, and Pixxel is a particularly exciting company sitting at the intersection of space technology and sustainability,” said Tom Lounibos, managing director, Accenture Ventures. “Imagine being able to predict a famine before a crop infestation takes over or stop an oil spill before it endangers delicate oceanic biospheres. Pixxel’s hyperspectral imaging technology has the potential to do just that, and in doing so, could help scientists address some of the world’s most pressing challenges to our Earth.”
Pixxel’s first commercial phase satellites are scheduled to be launched in early 2023 along with the commercial sale of its data. With six satellites flown in a sun-synchronous orbit (SSO) around a 550 km altitude, Pixxel’s hyperspectral constellation will be able to cover any point on the globe every 48 hours. With even more satellites scheduled to launch in late 2023, Pixxel will achieve daily global coverage by early 2024. The learnings from the data beamed down by this constellation will provide a global scale perspective of planetary-scale ecosystems and biospheres that will be used to create an AI-informed analysis platform and a digital twin of the earth.
“Our investment in Pixxel reflects our ongoing and active engagement with the promising startup ecosystem in India and more such engagements are key for creating solutions that drive real world impact,” said Mahesh Zurale, senior managing director, lead – Advanced Technology Centers in India, Accenture. “With so many aspects of our daily lives being increasingly impacted by climate and sustainability issues, we believe Pixxel’s Earth Health Monitoring can play a crucial role by enabling global organizations to detect potentially damaging events early on and help prevent them.”
Accenture announced on September 1 that it has also acquired Carbon Intelligence, a carbon and climate change strategy consultancy, adding more than 160 professionals to its rapidly growing group of data scientists, consultants and sustainability experts. Carbon Intelligence is focused on helping global businesses understand their overall carbon footprints, and ways to reduce them, using Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) strategies that lead to transformational rethinking of clients’ business models and value chains.
Carbon Intelligence is Accenture’s fifth sustainability-focused acquisition in the last year, having earlier acquired Greenfish in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, akzente in Germany, Avieco in the U.K. and Zestgroup in the Netherlands.