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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

SpaceX Acquires Swarm Technologies

Hawthorne-based SpaceX has agreed to purchase Swarm Technologies, a company that designs small satellites to manage internet-of-things services.

Palo Alto-based Swarm submitted filings to the Federal Communications Commission on Aug. 6 seeking permission to transfer its satellites to SpaceX.

According to the filings, SpaceX and Swarm agreed to the merger on July 16. Swarm will continue as a wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceX. 

Financial terms of the transaction were not revealed.

Swarm is a technology company known for making small satellites, or smallsats. The company claims that it has the smallest commercially operational satellites in space, with a mass of 400 grams.

Swarm uses these satellites to support its internet-of-things services, which means a “thing” that connects with the internet to communicate with other items. These items can include smartwatches, medical sensors, fitness trackers and more.

“Swarm’s services will benefit from the better capitalization and access to resources available to SpaceX, as well as the synergies associated with acquisition by a provider of satellite design, manufacture, and launch services,” Swarm said in the filing. 

“SpaceX will similarly benefit from access to the intellectual property and expertise developed by the Swarm team, as well as from adding this resourceful and effective team to SpaceX,” the company added.

The purchase of Swarm is the latest in a series of moves for SpaceX as it works to extend its lead in the space race. In 2020, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites on its Falcon 9 rocket, bringing the total number of satellites launched by the company to 835.

The company hopes to bring broadband internet around the world using the Starlink system. Swarm has also shown an interest in furthering the reach of the internet through its smallsats, which it says can be launched more efficiently due to their small size and weight.

SpaceX also announced in August that it landed a $178 million contract from NASA for a mission to Jupiter. The mission, called Europa Clipper, is scheduled for October 2024.

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