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Swarm ‘to start commercial satellite services this year’ says CEO

Sara Spangelo.jpg

Nano satellite company Swarm has received its licences from the US regulator and plans to start customer service later this year.

The California-based company’s licences allow it to serve a million users, according to CEO Sara Spangelo (pictured).

“We currently have market access in the UK, New Zealand, Germany, Sweden, Antarctica, and international waters,” she wrote in a blog yesterday.

The company also has approval for several ground stations around the globe, “a critical component of our network”, she said. Swarm already has ground stations in the US, UK, Antarctica, New Zealand and the Azores, and it has signed partnership agreements for more.

Spangelo added: “We anticipate having more than 30 ground stations installed by the end of the summer, which will be one of the largest ground station networks ever deployed for a satellite communications company.

Each of Swarm’s satellites will be a quarter of the standard size for cubesats, 10 × 10 × 10cm, making them 2.5 × 10 × 10cm.

Swarm raised raised $25 million just over a year ago, to build a fleet of 150 low-orbit. Backers include Craft Ventures and Sky Dayton with participation from Social Capital, 4DX Ventures and NJF Capital.

Craft Ventures is an early-stage investor whose portfolio includes Reddit and SpaceX. Sky Dayton was founder of EarthLink, one of the earliest big ISPs in the US, and Boingo.

“The capital provides us with the resources to build and scale Swarm beyond our initial accomplishments,” said Spangelo at the time. “In less than two years, we have designed, built, and launched seven operational satellites into low earth orbit, and we’re just getting started.”

 

 

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