Orbital Insight acquires computer vision startup FeatureX

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SAN FRANCISCO — Orbital Insight, a Silicon Valley geospatial analytics company, announced the purchase Sept. 18 of FeatureX, a Boston-based artificial intelligence firm specializing in computer vision for satellite imagery. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

It was the first acquisition made by Orbital Insight, a firm that has raised $78.7 million to date, including $50 million in a Series C funding round completed in May 2017.

FeatureX founder Gil Syswerda will join Orbital Insight as its technology research vice president, working in the company’s Boston office. FeatureX specializes in applying computer vision to satellite imagery to detect objects, enhance images and facilitate deep learning.

“We have great respect for the innovative work that Gil and his team have accomplished at FeatureX,” James Crawford, Orbital Insight founder and chief executive, said in a statement. “It complements Orbital Insight’s product development efforts very well. This acquisition will help accelerate progress on our mission to better understand what’s happening on and to Earth through geospatial analytics.”

Orbital Insight was in the news last week when it forged a strategic partnership with Airbus Defense and Space. Through that partnership, the companies will build bridges between Airbus’ geospatial database and Orbital Insight’s tools, François Lombard, chief executive of Airbus Defense and Space’s Intelligence business, said in a recent interview.