SpaceX to acquire small satellite startup Swarm Technologies

36 SpaceBee smallsats launch to space aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in January 2021, during SpaceX’s Transporter-1 mission with 107 other satellites on board. | Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is acquiring the small-satellite data provider Swarm Technologies, scooping up the startup’s roughly 30 employees and its network of 120 tiny satellites. The deal, struck last month, is extremely rare for SpaceX, which normally manufactures its rocket and satellite hardware in-house or hires subcontractors.

Swarm revealed the acquisition plans in an August 6th filing with the Federal Communications Commission that requested approval to shift ownership of its satellite and antenna licenses to SpaceX. The merger agreement, in which Swarm will become a direct and wholly owned subsidiary of SpaceX, was inked on July 16th, the filing said.

SpaceX benefits from “access to the intellectual property and expertise developed by…

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