Google's Purchase of Titan Drones

How a whirlwind 6-week courtship led to Google's purchase of Titan drones

Dan Mayfield
Albuquerque Business First

The UpTake: Vern Raburn says it took an intense six weeks to sell his company, Titan Aerospace, to Google. The solar-powered drone maker may seem like an odd purchase for the search and advertising giant. But its technology could be key for Google to get the Internet to remote corners of the globe.

Last Monday morning at 1 a.m., Vern Raburn finally got the last call and signed the last document that made it official.

After six weeks of intense due diligence work with Google, the Titan Aerospace CEO was finally signing the papers to sell the startup to Internet powerhouse Google.

 “This has been done in record time. This is the quickest merger I’ve ever been a part of,” Raburn told Albuquerque Business First. “I had no sleep from Thursday to Sunday.”

 Raburn can’t disclose the details of the merger in any way, he said. Nor can he confirm that Facebook was also interested in buying Titan.

 “I’m not Titan anymore. I’m Google,” he said.

 Raburn has been the CEO of Titan since last fall, but he doesn’t have a Google title yet.

 Titan, or Google, is developing a solar-powered drone that Raburn calls an “atmostat,” or atmospheric satellite. The idea is to bring the functionality of a satellite, such as mapping, GPS or even communications, to the high atmosphere at a fraction of the cost of launching a space-bound satellite.

 Today, though, Titan’s hangar at the Moriarty Airport couldn’t look any less Google. It looks homebuilt, and Raburn agrees.
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