Pixxel Comes Out of Stealth with a Plan for a High-Resolution Satellite System

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Pixxel Comes Out of Stealth with a Plan for a High-Resolution Satellite System

With plans to launch the world's highest resolution earth imaging satellite, Pixxel emerged from stealth mode on Wednesday.

The constellation — once deployed — will give 24-hour global coverage to generate data that could be used by agriculture companies and governments to monitor environmental conditions on Earth.

"We are very excited to finally speak about what we are building at Pixxel," said co-founder and CEO Awais Ahmed in a statement. "This enables us to capture some of the richest imagery that's ever been beamed down to earth."


Backed by Omnivore VC, Techstars and a roster of previous investors, the Los Angeles and Bangalore-based startup also announced a $7.3 million seed round, an extension of its $5 million boost last August. The two-year-old company got its start through the Techstars Starburst Space accelerator.

Using hyperspectral imaging, the startup said its satellites can cheaply collect more detailed images to help experts working across agriculture, energy and environmental conservation. The data will be aimed at governments, as well as agriculture and oil companies that need to keep an eye on environmental factors impacting their land.

The imaging is designed to pick up on issues "invisible to today's satellites," the company said, allowing it to flag pest infestations and crop diseases, or detecting oil spills and gas leaks. The first satellite is slated to launch and orbit within the next few months.

"These hyperspectral satellites will allow society to tackle many of humanity's most pressing issues," Ahmed said. "Empowering humans to see the earth like never before."

The company has so far partnered with the Indian Space Research Organization, the U.S. Air Force and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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