Microsatellite startup on track to deliver low-cost IoT connectivity

January 29, 2019 // By Rich Pell
Microsatellite startup on track to deliver low-cost IoT connectivity
Small satellite startup Swarm Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) has announced that it has raised $25 million in Series A funding to help it build the world's lowest-cost global satellite communications network.

The capital, says the company, will be used 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," says 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."

The company says it has developed the world's smallest two-way communications satellites to enable low-cost, space-based, IoT connectivity anywhere in the world, with applications in agriculture, maritime, energy, and ground transportation industries, as well as for global aid organizations. Sample applications listed by the company include the following:

  • 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," says Sky Dayton, founder of EarthLink and Boingo, and one of the investors who led the funding round. "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

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