Swarm Raises 25M to build world's lowest-cost satellite network
by Staff Writers
Palo Alto CA (SPX) Jan 25, 2019
Swarm Technologies, developer of the world's lowest-cost global communications network, reports it has closed its Series A financing round of $25M. The round was led by Craft Ventures and Sky Dayton, founder of EarthLink and Boingo, with participation from Social Capital, 4DX Ventures and NJF Capital.
Swarm will use the capital to accelerate software and hardware integrations for customer deployments, to continue hiring world-class talent, and to deploy a constellation of 150 satellites over the next 18 months.
"We set out to solve the decades-old problem of expensive connectivity that is not universally accessible: billions of people around the world still lack basic Internet access," said co-founder and CEO Sara Spangelo.
"With 75 billion connected devices coming online around the world over the next six years, viable and affordable network access will be essential. For this reason, our technology has caught the attention of dozens of companies-from early-stage startups to Fortune 100 enterprises-with whom we have completed successful pilot tests in agriculture, maritime, ground transportation, and text messaging services."
Swarm has developed the world's smallest two-way communications satellites to enable low-cost, space-based, IoT connectivity anywhere in the world. The implications are profound for the agriculture, maritime, energy, and ground transportation industries as well as for global aid organizations.
Swarm's affordability, flexibility, and easy setup change the fundamentals for businesses that rely on data transmission to and from remote locations. Sample applications of Swarm's ability to make IoT data widely available on a global scale include:
+ Diagnostics and emergency messages from connected vehicles
+ Agriculture sensors in farmlands outside of cellular range
+ Shipping containers and asset tracking across oceans
+ Water monitoring devices in remote African communities
+ Smart meter reporting in remote locations
+ Connecting people through text messaging in rural and remote areas
"Swarm is turning the satellite industry on its head," said Sky Dayton.
"Others continue to focus on high bandwidth networks that are very expensive, power-hungry, difficult to integrate, and will take years and billions of dollars to bring online. Swarm has developed something entirely new: a low-bandwidth, latency-tolerant network that is extremely inexpensive, low-power and very easy to integrate for things that need to be connected anywhere in the world-and Swarm is doing it in a tenth the time of a traditional satellite network build."
Ben Longmier, Swarm co-founder and CTO, commented, "On December 3, Swarm launched three new satellites into Low Earth Orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The three satellites have gone through an initial checkout phase, and have been commissioned into the experimental phase of the mission, testing new network protocols, and new state-of-the-art communications technology. In less than two years, we have designed, built, and launched seven operational satellites into Low Earth Orbit, and we're just getting started."
"Swarm is a critical enabler of the next big wave in computing, which is the proliferation of devices and sensors," said David Sacks, co-founder and general partner at Craft Ventures.
"The mobile phone is just the first of countless devices to become internet connected. The ability to connect any device easily and cheaply, anywhere in the world, without needing to be in range of a WiFi hotspot, is transformational. We're excited to be supporting the brilliant Swarm team in this mission."
Nicole Junkermann, founder of NJF Capital, said, "NJF Capital serves as a bridge between traditional business and industry-defining technologies. We are proud to be able to support Swarm on their journey. They are bringing something truly transformative to the global satellite industry, enabling low-cost access to the internet across each and every continent. We are delighted to be working with such an exceptional and dedicated team."
Airbus wins DARPA contract to develop smallsat bus for Blackjack program
Herndon VA (SPX) Jan 21, 2019
Airbus Defense and Space Inc. has been awarded a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a satellite bus in support of the Blackjack program. DARPA describes the Blackjack program as an architecture demonstration intending to show the military utility of global low-earth orbit constellations and mesh networks of lower size, weight and cost. DARPA wants to buy commercial satellite buses and pair them with military sensors and payloads. The bus drives each sate ... read more
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