Search engine giant, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) purchased Titan Aerospace, a startup maker of high-altitude, solar powered-satellites that provide access to data services worldwide. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.
In a statement, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) said, “Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world, It’s still early days, but atmospheric satellites could help bring internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.”
The employees of Titan Aerospace will join the search engine giant’s Project Loon team, which is developing a network of large, high altitude balloon to bring internet access in rural and remote areas, help fill coverage gaps, and bring people back online after calamities, according to the search engine giant.
Greg Sterling, an analyst at Opus Research opined that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) probably acquired Titan Aerospace to integrate its technology with other projects such as robotics or with its mapping application not just to provide internet access to people in far flung areas.
“Some of their investments are speculative, and they have a lot of money to throw around on things they may or may not develop into revenue sources or successful projects. In the past, some of these companies that have not kind of aggressively pushed into new areas have seen themselves outflanked by newer competitors,” said Sterling.
Last year, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquired seven robotics companies including Autofuss, Bot & Dolly, Holomni, Industrial Perception, Meka, Redwood Robotics, and Schaft. Its robotics project is led by Andy Rubin, the former chief of the company’s Android software unit.
Last month, it had been reported that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) was interested in acquiring Titan Aerospace for $60 million to provide internet access to different parts of the world without coverage particularly in Africa. The report indicated that the social network giant plans 11,000 units of Solara 60 drones.
The social network giant ended up purchasing Ascenta, a company based in United Kingdom whose founders developed that first version Zypher, the world’s longest solar-powered drone worldwide. Ascenta’s team joins Facebook’s Connectivity Lab composed of around 50 aeronautics experts and space scientists that will work on developing connectivity aircraft and achieve its goal to deliver internet access via drones, satellites and lasers.