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Elon Musk’s SpaceX raises $1.16B in equity financing

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised roughly $1.16 billion in equity funding, according to an amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


The filing follows a nearly $850 million equity funding round disclosed in February that reportedly raised the aerospace company’s valuation to about $74 billion. In August, the company raised its largest funding round to date of $1.9 billion, according to Reuters.  

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The billionaire, who also founded and runs Tesla, hinted in February that an initial public offering for SpaceX would come once the company could “predict cash flow reasonably well.” Demand for SpaceX’s shares centers around its global internet service Starlink made up of a global constellation of satellites, and its Starship project, a rocket being developed that will take humans on future missions to the Moon and Mars. 

“SpaceX needs to pass through a deep chasm of negative cash flow over the next year or so to make Starlink financially viable. Every new satellite constellation in history has gone bankrupt. We hope to be the first that does not,” Musk said. “Starlink is a staggeringly difficult technical & economic endeavor. However, if we don’t fail, the cost to end users will improve every year.”

Last week, Starlink launched its 10th successful batch of 60 satellites as the company works to make near-global coverage available by the end of 2021 and full coverage by 2022.  

Starlink has launched over 1,000 satellites into orbit and has over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad since its “Better Than Nothing” beta launched domestically and internationally in October. The service will be offered first in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

According to Musk, Starlink’s internet speeds will double to about 300 megabits per second later this year, while latency — the time it takes to send data from one point to the next — will drop to about 20 milliseconds. The company is also planning to connect Starlink to moving vehicles, ships and aircraft

While Musk confirmed in April that Starlink is selling satellite dishes at a much lower price than what it costs for the technology to be manufactured, he contested that those costs are “decreasing rapidly.”

Meanwhile, Musk said in December that he remained “highly confident” that SpaceX’s Starship will land humans on Mars by 2026. So far, SpaceX has successfully launched four Starship prototypes, including SN8SN9SN10 and most recently, SN11, though all have ended in fiery explosions

Following the SN9 explosion, the House Transportation Committee said it would conduct an investigation of the launch, which regulators said violated U.S. safety requirements and SpaceX’s test license. SN10 is the only Starship iteration that has successfully stuck the landing after performing a “belly flop” maneuver. 

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SpaceX is a direct competitor of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos‘ Blue Origin, which successfully launched and landed NS-15, the latest iteration of its New Shepard rocket, on Wednesday. The mission, which included the first-ever crew of stand-in astronauts who conducted a series of pre-launch and post-launch procedures, served as a “verification step” as it works towards sending its first human passengers to space. 

Blue Origin has not announced an exact date for when the first crewed flight will happen, but confirmed following Wednesday’s test that it would happen “soon.”