SpaceX, the private aerospace company founded by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk, has finally crossed the $100 billion valuation mark.
According to a report from CNBC earlier this month, the private aerospace giant achieved the valuation thanks to a secondary share sale its investors announced.
It’s Raining Cash in Muskland!
CNBC’s report explained SpaceX struck a deal with investors to sell up to $755 million in stock at $560 for each piece. The sale helped boost the company’s valuation, allowing it to achieve a nominal value of $100.3 billion. SpaceX has now achieved the “centicorn” status, placing it in the rare company of firms like Bytedance and Stripe as firms achieving $100 billion valuations before going public.
The achievement marks a significant improvement from SpaceX’s former stock price, which stood at $419.99 back in February. This was at a time when SpaceX raised about $850 million in its latest equity funding round. The funding round got SpaceX’s valuation to $74 billion, with the company’s investors then able to make $750 million in secondary share sales. With such a healthy stock price increase, SpaceX appears to be doing very well financially.
With a valuation north of $100 billion, SpaceX contributes quite substantially to the growing wealth of Elon Musk. A report from Forbes in February showed Musk owned about 48 percent of the company. Assuming this hasn’t changed, SpaceX’s stock contributes almost $50 billion to Musk’s wealth.
Musk, himself, has done quite well financially. The billionaire was recently crowned the richest person in modern history, with a net worth eclipsing $271 billion. Tesla’s stock has been on a wild ride, with the company extending its place as the world’s most valuable carmaker following a new deal with car rental giant Hertz.
Not a Surprise to See SpaceX Grow So Much
While industry newbies might not understand what has driven such growth in SpaceX’s value, those who have followed the private aerospace company won’t be surprised. The industry has seen massive competition from different companies, but the consensus is they all trail SpaceX.
In April, the company launched Crew 2, its second operational mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Last month, a third mission went up with much fanfare, showing SpaceX’s mastery of its launch and return sequence.
The company also got massive publicity from Inspiration4. This private mission sent billionaire Jared Isaacman and three other passengers to space on a three-day trip aboard the Crew Dragon capsule.
Inspiration4 was a milestone because it was SpaceX’s first private crewed flight. The company was beaten to the punch by two of its largest rivals: Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. Still, none of that mattered as SpaceX’s mission went off without a hitch - save for a little toilet mishap. The fact that the mission raised hundreds of millions for a children’s hospital definitely added some publicity.
Then, there is the massive human lander system (HLS) contract that SpaceX won earlier this year. NASA awarded the mission as part of its Artemis project, and SpaceX beat out massive competition from names like Blue Origin and Dynetics to nab the contract. It is worth noting that work on the project has since stalled, as SpaceX’s competitors have filed a lawsuit accusing NASA of giving the company an unfair advantage, allowing it to secure the contract. Still, a win is a win.
SpaceX is expected to fulfill its Artemis contract using its next-generation Starship vehicle. The company has already made progress with the vehicle, passing through a high-altitude test flight earlier this year at its Texas testing site. While it awaits approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct its first Starship orbital test flight, the progress made thus far will be a massive boon.
It is also worth noting that SpaceX is making massive progress with its Starlink internet connectivity project. Starlink has crossed 500,000 orders already, with the company looking to intensify development efforts next year. Over a thousand Starlink satellites are already in space, and beta speed tests for the network have been pretty impressive.
With reports suggesting that Starlink could even break out of SpaceX and go public on its own, telecommunication giants like Verizon and AT&T will definitely be watching out to see if there’s a new kid on the block to challenge them.