Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Raising Money At A Valuation Approaching $10B

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the commercial space transportation startup founded by Elon Musk with ambitions to land people on Mars, is said to be raising investment that values the company somewhere south of $10 billion.

SpaceX has responded sayng: “SpaceX is not currently raising any funding nor has any external valuation of the magnitude you reported been done.”

SpaceX continues to make advances with its own spacecraft and rack up more agreements for future commercial and government launches.

The company also faces stiffer competition from other commercial firms that are looking to compete more aggressively in the new space race.

The latest capital infusion includes a large secondary investment, which appears to be somewhere in the region of $200 million.

This confirms some of the details published in April this year by Quartz, which cited a source reporting that the company might be raising between $50 million and $200 million.

According to CrunchBase, SpaceX has raised $245.5 million in private backing, with the last round disclosed in December 2012.

In its first 10 years of operation, SpaceX generated $4 billion in contracts (that includes funding from NASA between $400 million and $500 million).

The manifest for upcoming launches lists just under 40 missions planned between now and 2018.

For satellite operators looking for launch vessels, part of the attraction of SpaceX has to do with price.

Launches currently cost under $60 million for a low-Earth orbit launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 craft.

But it is working on more efficient technology for the rockets, including reusability, with some success already with return landings.

If successful, the projection is that a launch could cost as little as between $5 million and $7 million.

In tandem, SpaceX is also pursuing its Mars ambitions. One big step on that trajectory is the development of spacecraft capable of carrying humans and cargo.

Manned test missions involving the Falcon Heavy and the Dragon are planned in the next two to three years.

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