The International Financial Corporation (IFC) has invested $20m in Planet Labs to improve access to emerging market satellite imagery, according to an IFC press release Tuesday.
The IFC said that Planet Labs’ fleet of nano-satellites can be deployed in clusters to capture imagery of the earth faster and less expensively than traditional satellites in developing countries.
“Planet Labs Earth snapshots can track pollution and enable fast and targeted responses to natural and human made disasters,” the statement read.
“IFC’s investment will help ensure more companies in developing countries to have the information they need to grow in a smart and sustainable way,” said Global Head of Venture Capital at IFC Nikunj Jinsi.
The statement added that IFC’s stake is part of a $93m fundraising effort for Planet Labs. It will be used to finance the manufacturing and deployment of satellites, ground stations and technical equipment, in addition to supporting business, development, sales, and marketing in emerging markets.
The fund will also be used to connect small companies with opportunities in emerging markets and extend their new technology.
The IFC, based in Washington D.C. , is a member of the World Bank Group, and is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries. It was established in 1956 and is owned by the member countries of WBG which has 184 members and works in over 100 developing countries to support companies and financial institutions in emerging markets.
IFC-Egypt has implemented 20 projects in Egypt during between 2011 and 2014, with investments worth $1.1bn. In 2014, the IFC invested $130m in four projects in Egypt.