scorecardSpaceX buys a small internet satellite startup called Swarm to complement its Starlink team, in a rare acquisition for Musk's space firm
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SpaceX buys a small internet satellite startup called Swarm to complement its Starlink team, in a rare acquisition for Musk's space firm

Kate Duffy   

SpaceX buys a small internet satellite startup called Swarm to complement its Starlink team, in a rare acquisition for Musk's space firm
Tech1 min read
  • SpaceX is buying satellite startup Swarm Technologies, according to FCC filings.
  • Swarm will hand control of its internet satellites and ground station licenses to SpaceX.
  • SpaceX's own internet satellite service, Starlink, has nearly 100,000 users.

SpaceX is acquiring US satellite startup Swarm Technologies, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday.

Swarm has launched 150 small, low-cost SpaceBEE satellites into orbit to beam the internet down to customers on Earth - a similar model to Starlink, SpaceX's satellite internet service.

Starlink has nearly 100,000 users and 1,650 satellites in orbit.

As part of the deal, Elon Musk's company will take control of Swarm's satellite and ground station licenses, and the startup will become a direct and wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceX, the filing said.

This is a rare merger deal for SpaceX, which usually makes its own satellites and rockets.

The companies didn't disclose the terms and financial details of the deal in the filing. SpaceX and Swarm didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Swarm agreed to a merger deal with SpaceX on July 16, the companies wrote in the filing.

The deal will combine both companies' ability to "provide innovative satellite services that reach unserved and underserved parts of the world," the filing said.

"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," the filing said.

SpaceX will benefit from "access to the intellectual property and expertise" of Swarm, and the resources of the startup's team, according to the filing.

Swarm, headquartered in Mountain View, California, was founded in 2016, and announced that its internet service went live in February, according to a TechCrunch report.

SpaceX's satellite internet service, Starlink, launched its beta test in October.

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