SpaceX is reportedly raising $750 million in a new funding round that values the company at $137 billion. It comes as Founder and CEO Elon Musk comes under pressure from shareholders as Tesla’s stock price falls almost 70% in 2022. The new investment is expected to help push forward on development of the Starship program, which is expected to be used to launch the first manned mission to Mars.
Elon Musk has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. He’s not a guy that shies away from the limelight, but generally speaking the coverage he receives is overwhelmingly positive.
Many consider him to be one of the greatest entrepreneurs ever, and love his sense of humor and crazy approach to life. Whether it’s making plans to colonize Mars, joking about Dogecoin or building outlandish robots and cars, he’s a bit of a meme magnet.
Lately though, that’s started to change a little bit. It all started with his takeover of Twitter. Initially this just added to his outsized reputation, but since taking over the company there have been a number of issues that have turned off his fans, the media and, probably most importantly, his investors.
These issues include controversy over both banned and unbanned accounts on Twitter, accusations of censorship from someone who’s a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” and the fact that his attention is spread too thin across his many different companies.
It’s this last one that’s become the biggest problem, with Tesla stock falling almost 70% over the past year. Many of the company’s largest investors are calling for Musk to resign from Twitter, Tesla, or both.
So against this backdrop, Musk’s camp is probably pretty happy that they’ve managed to secure a significant round of funding for one of his other companies, SpaceX.
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Breaking down the numbers: details of the latest funding round
SpaceX is reportedly raising $750 million in a new funding round that values the company at $137 billion. The round includes investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, and follows news in November that SpaceX was in talks for an offering that could value the company at up to $150 billion.
That figure represented a 20% increase in valuation, although this latest round will take the shine off that figure slightly. Even so, it’s an impressive result given the ongoing volatility in the public markets, and the scrutiny of Elon Musk’s running of his other businesses.
The company previously raised about $1.68 billion through equity financing in June, and counts Alphabet and Fidelity Investments among its investors. In addition to launching cargo payloads and astronauts for NASA, SpaceX is also looking to generate major revenue through its growing network of internet satellites, known as Starlink.
These satellites aim to provide high-speed internet to commercial airlines and other commercial applications, including access to remote and challenging parts of the world.
Examples include coverage in rural Australia, as well as providing internet access to Ukrainians who have seen their permanent infrastructure destroyed in the war.
The Early Days of SpaceX: From Falcon 1 to Falcon Heavy
The new investment will allow SpaceX and Elon Musk to continue to innovate and develop the long term vision for the company. It’s a vision that has already been in motion for 20 years.
SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk in 2002, and initially focused on developing the Falcon 1 rocket. The Falcon 1 made its first successful orbit in 2008, after several failed attempts. This marked a major milestone for the company and established it as a player in the emerging private space industry.
In the following years, SpaceX continued to make strides with the development and launch of its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. The Falcon 9, which first launched in 2010, has become one of the company’s most reliable and frequently used rockets, completing over 100 successful launches to date. The Falcon Heavy, the most powerful operational rocket in the world, made its debut in 2018 with a successful launch that included the successful landing of two of its first stage boosters.
The Falcon Heavy is forming the basis of the company’s Starship program, which is a launch system that aims to power the next generation of space exploration. Starship is expected to have twice the power of Saturn V, which is the NASA rocket which powered the lunar missions from Apollo 8 to Apollo 17.
Elon Musk’s vision for SpaceX
Elon Musk has long had a vision for the company that goes beyond just providing reliable and cost-effective access to space. Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and enabling the colonization of Mars. Yes, that’s the ultimate end goal for the company, for humans to become “multi-planetary”.
These goals were born out of a belief that establishing a human presence on other planets is essential for the long-term survival of our species.
Musk has stated that he believes humanity must become a multi-planetary species in order to ensure its survival in the face of potential disasters on Earth, such as asteroid impacts, or nuclear war. He has spoken about the potential for Mars to serve as a backup location for human civilization on many occasions.
In addition to its goals of reducing the cost of space travel and enabling the colonization of Mars, SpaceX has also made headlines for its work on reusable rockets, which has the potential to significantly lower the cost of space transportation.
Prior to SpaceX, rockets were simply ditched into space to become space junk. In order to aim to make space travel more affordable, SpaceX have put a huge amount of time and energy into designing rockets that can land safely back on Earth, to allow them to be reused.
With its ambitious goals and innovative approach to space travel, as well as collaborations with organizations like NASA, SpaceX is going to play a major role in shaping the future of space exploration and development.
The company isn’t alone in the space (get it?) though, as it has a number of well-backed competitors such as Blue Origin, founded by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Virgin Galactic, founded by billionaire Richard Branson.
What’s the investment angle?
For the vast majority of investors, getting in on the SpaceX investment isn’t very likely. Venture capital investments at this level operate on a notoriously tight circle, and this is particularly true for highly sought after companies like SpaceX.
And the opportunities could be major.
There are few industries that offer the same level of untapped potential as space. Many startups are based on refining an existing industry or offering a slightly differentiated product.
But trips to Mars and the potential colonization of another planet? That’s not something that comes along every day.
So if you want to invest in the future of space but you can’t get in on SpaceX, you have options. One that we offer is our Emerging Tech Kit, which uses the power of AI to invest in a range of different tech verticals.
It’s not specifically space based investing, but it provides exposure to sectors which are likely to benefit from the new technology needed to make space exploration a reality. Not only that, but it also uses cutting edge AI technology to keep your investments ahead of the curve.
Every week, our AI analyzes a huge amount of data and predicts how the four verticals in the Kit are going to perform in the coming week on a risk-adjusted basis. These are tech ETFs, large cap tech stocks, growth tech stocks and crypto (via public trusts). It then automatically rebalances the Kit based on those projections.
It’s a sophisticated level of analysis and management that is usually only reserved for the most wealthy individuals. At harnessing AI, we’ve made it available to everyone.
Download Q.ai today for access to AI-powered investment strategies.