Skybox Imaging has closed $70 million in Series C financing to help expedite the launch of its ambitious service, which wants to make satellite imagery available as a service to news organizations, app developers, humanitarian organizations and others. This new funding was led by Canaan Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.

Canaan Partners’ Deepak Kamra will join Skybox’s board. Combined with previous investors Khosla Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners, the total amount raised by the startup is $91 million.

Skybox said it will be the first satellite system to offer high-definition video as well as still imagery. Additionally, it will have the capability to collect and analyze vast quantities of data to help identify trends and other actionable information, services not typically available outside of governments and contractors.

The company said it is on schedule to launch the first of its two microsatellites, SkySat-1, aboard an International Space Company (ISC) Kosmotras Dnepr rocket by the end of 2012.

“We will also use this capital to expand strategic alliances, position Skybox for initial commercial operations, and to accelerate the development path towards the full constellation of microsatellites,” said Skybox CEO Tom Ingersoll. “Canaan Partners’ and Norwest Venture Partners’ commitment to the Skybox vision gets us one step closer to reaching all of these milestones.”

Related links:

Skybox Imaging – official site

Skybox Imaging – press release

Canaan Partners – official site

Image shows the ISC Kosmotras logo