Elon Musk’s SpaceX is now worth around $27.5bn, up from $20bn last year, according to its latest round of funding. The company has just pulled in $500m – a relatively modest sum – to fund the satellite constellation, Starlink, that it is currently building.
That is not all though; analysts at private market analysis firm Equidate reckon that SpaceX is not only one of the world’s most valuable startups, it can also raise capital more easily than virtually any other private company.
Equidate’s global head of business development Robert Hilmer said that wherever he travels:
“Investors of all types – individuals, family offices, sovereign wealth funds or private equity – want to get into SpaceX.”
Musk has warned that anyone looking to back SpaceX needs to take an extremely long investment horizon. This is not that surprising, given that SpaceX’s goal – colonising Mars – basically trumps anything being attempted by other companies in terms of scale.
In fact, Musk has personally asked investors whether they are ready not to realise a return for at least 15 years, according to venture capitalist Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux. de Cayeux said that she, and SpaceX’s other backers, were totally unfazed by Musk’s blunt question. There is not a single other tech company that can generate as much investor interest with a caveat prescribing a 15-year horizon.
Equidate also reports that investors were not spooked by the loss of a secret US satellite launched back in January. In the event, it emerged that engineering firm Northrup Grumman was responsible for building the components that led to the satellite’s disappearance. On the other hand, the successful Falcon Heavy launch enormously increased investor interest in the pioneering startup.
Considering that SpaceX, unlike many startups, barely spends a penny on advertising the sheer amount of visibility that they generate is hugely impressive. Then again, they are in the business of launching rockets.
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