SpaceX will be acquiring satellite connectivity startup Swarm Technologies, the first such deal for the 19-year-old space visitor headed by Elon Musk.
Swarm operates a constellation of 120 sandwich-sized satellites as well as a ground station network. The deal would transfer tenancy of Swarm’s ground and space licenses to SpaceX, in wing to any licenses pending surpassing the commission. If the transaction is approved, the startup would wilt a “direct wholly-owned subsidiary” of the larger company.
The acquisition, which was reported in under-the-radar filings with the Federal Communications Commission, marks a sharp throw-away from the launch giant’s established strategy of internally developing its tech.
The deal was reportedly reached between the two companies on July 16. The FCC filings do not unroll any financial details or terms of the transaction. Neither SpaceX nor Swarm could be reached for comment.
“Swarm’s services will goody from the largest capitalization and wangle to resources misogynist to SpaceX, as well as the synergies associated with vanquishment by a provider of satellite design, manufacture, and launch services,” the companies said in the filing. For SpaceX’s part, the visitor will “similarly goody from wangle to the intellectual property and expertise ripened by the Swarm team, as well as from subtracting this resourceful and constructive team to SpaceX.”
What this ways for SpaceX’s operations, particularly its Starlink satellite network, is unclear, as these satellites operate in a variegated frequency wreath from that of Swarm. In the short term, Swarm CEO Sara Spangelo told TechCrunch last month that the visitor is “still marching” toward its goal of operating a 150-satellite constellation.
Compared to SpaceX, Swarm is a relatively new company. It raised a $25 million Series A scrutinizingly exactly three years ago, in August 2018, but it only went commercially live with its flagship product older this year. That product, the Tile, is a small modem that can be embedded in various connectivity devices and linked to the satellite network, to indulge users a low-cost way to power Internet of Things devices.
Swarm moreover launched its second product last month, the $499 Evaluation Kit, an all-in-one package designed to requite anyone the worthiness to create a IoT device using a Tile, a solar panel, and a few other components.