San Francisco-based satellite imagery company Planet is opening an office in Bellevue that will initially hire 10 to 20 software engineers.
Another satellite company is setting up a local office: San Francisco-based Planet is opening an office in Bellevue that will initially hire 10 to 20 software engineers.
Planet, previously known as PlanetLabs, makes small-scale imaging satellites, builds them in-house, and builds the software used to analyze the imagery.
The satellite cameras provide detailed images of the Earth as it changes, feeding a burgeoning market for geospatial data and imagery. Planet also provides the satellite tracking infrastructure on the ground and controls the missions.
Planet has attracted $180 million in venture capital funding, chief technology officer Karthik Govindhasamy said in an interview.
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He said it has about 60 satellites in orbit today and plans to launch 100 more in the next six months.
That puts it ahead of many other ventures pushing into the global imagery business, including local firm BlackSky, a unit of Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, which launched its first satellite in September.
In addition to small startups, Airbus and Google each have their own satellite-based digital imaging subsidiaries.
Planet currently has about 360 employees, of which about 200 are in San Francisco and more than 100 in Berlin, Germany.
Govindhasamy said the company is coming here to attract technical talent and looks forward to moderate growth in the region.
The local team will initially focus on building a web app that allows customers to access and analyze Planet’s enormous database of imagery.
A Planet blog post announcing the new office said, “We expect our Seattle presence to play an important part in scaling the company.”
Last year, Elon Musk’s SpaceX opened an office in Redmond to design a constellation of satellites for a different purpose: to provide global broadband connectivity.