Startup satellite Swarm Technologies has raised $25 million in Series A funding to launch a constellation of 150 tiny IoT ready satellites.
Launching in a Crowded Space
Swarm Technologies is just one of several company’s currently looking to launch a network of low-earth orbit communication satellites. Just last month, it was reported SpaceX is raising $500 million to launch a Starlink network which would put 11,000 low-earth communication satellites into orbit in order to blanket the world with internet. Ubiquitilink is also pursuing a similar venture in order to eliminate the dread No Service signal on cell phones.
Swarm Technologies’ Innovative Approach
Unlike SpaceX however, Swarm Technologies plans to launch 150 of its tiny ‘SpaceBEE’ satellites which are to be used exclusively for the internet of things (IoT) ready devices. Such devices do not require high-speed or low-latency internet and often the data they produce can afford to wait a few minutes or even days before being needed. Such features make Swarm Technologies’ inexpensive SpaceBEE’s a perfect solution.
The round of Series A was led by SpaceX investor Craft Ventures, as well as Sky Dayton, the founder of internet service providers, EarthLink and Boingo. The round also saw participation from NJF Capital, Social Capital, and 4DX Ventures.
An Optimistic CEO
According to company 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.”
Investors Remain Bullish
Despite the fact Swarm Technologies was fined $900,000 by the FCC for launching four rockets last January without authorization, investors remain bullish on the startup. According to investor Sky Dayton, “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.”
The company plans to put all 150 of its satellites into orbit over the next 18 months.