SpaceX, Elon Musk’s aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company, is making a new $750 million funding round that will bring its valuation to $137 billion.
According to people familiar with the matter, the lead investor is Andreessen Horowitz (also known as a16z), a private U.S. venture capital firm that invests in seed, startup, early, mid-, late- and growth-stage companies. Previously, a16z had invested in SpaceX, alongside firms such as Founders Fund, Sequoia, Gigafund and others. Notably, Andreessen Horowitz also co-invested in Elon Musk’s $44 billion buyout of Twitter.
In December 2022, Bloomberg reported that on SpaceX’s offer to sell insider shares for $77, a price that would raise its valuation to about $140 billion.
Overall, the past year has been a success for SpaceX in terms of fundraising. In May 2022, SpaceX completed an equity financing round in which it raised no less than $1.7 billion and was valued at $127 billion. We also reported at the time that SpaceX was on track to become the most valued U.S. startup, with a valuation of more than $125 billion.
Additionally, in July 2022, SpaceX raised an additional $250 million and reached a valuation of $127 billion.
SpaceX in 2022: Achievements
SpaceX is working with other private U.S. companies to make space accessible to a larger international community. It is currently developing a constellation of thousands of Starlink satellites that provide broadband Internet coverage to remote and rural locations on Earth. Notably, Starlink has already surpassed one million subscribers. In May 2022, it became a lifeline for users in Ukraine who suffered infrastructure disruptions after the Russian invasion. As we reported at the time, the satellites were sent out immediately, less than 48 hours after it was announced.
In August 2022, SpaceX signed a new agreement with semi-private airline JSX to provide Starlink satellite internet to the latter’s fleet of aircraft. The partnership became a major milestone for both companies, as JSX became the first airline to integrate Starlink’s high-speed internet for its users.
The company is also working closely with NASA to explore the possibilities of commercial spaceflight. In September 2022, NASA and SpaceX signed an unfunded agreement under the Space Act to study the feasibility of an idea by SpaceX and the Polaris program to propel the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope into a higher orbit with the Dragon spacecraft at no cost to the government.
Currently, NASA is considering SpaceX as an emergency return option for the ISS crew. NASA and the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, are investigating the cause of a coolant line puncture on an external radiator on the Russian Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft. The spacecraft was supposed to return its crew to Earth in 2023, but the capsule took on water. NASA is now looking for alternatives to transport the crew.