SpaceX Raises $351 Million as Valuation Soars

The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing supported SpaceX’s successful launch of the EchoStar XXIII spacecraft aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center March 16 at 2 a.m. EDT. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

SpaceX has raised an additional $351 million in a Series H funding round, increasing its valuation to $21.2 billion and share price to $135, the website Equidate reports.

The increase in valuation makes SpaceX one of the most valuable privately held companies in the world, according to The New York Times.

The company was previously valued at $14.9 billion with a share price of $96.42 in March 2016, Equidate reports.

In related news, Axios reports that Founders Fund co-founder Luke Nosek is leaving the venture capital company to create a new investment firm called Gigafund that will be focused on raising capital for SpaceX.

A source says that Nosek has been spending an increasing amount of time on SpaceX business, and the idea behind Gigafund is to ensure that the space exploration company won’t have debilitating capital constraints. An SEC filing suggests that it’s seeking to raise an initial $100 million, with former Founders Fund venture partner Stephen Oskoui also involved.

SpaceX statement, per spokesman John Taylor: “While we wish Luke well in his new endeavors, there is no guarantee of future investment allocations in SpaceX or any other companies associated with Elon.”

Founders Fund has invested $200 million into SpaceX. Nosek is the fund’s representative on the company’s board.

Save

  • DP Huntsman

    Hope some space journalist digs into what is the real backstory behind Nosek/Gigafund; because what the PR alone says is, well, ‘different’.

  • Series H? That’s a LOT of rounds! I realize space is capital intensive, but a 15 year old company that needs $351M AND a dedicated venture capitalist to raise MORE money? I’m concerned for SpaceX.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Elon put out a public warning that Fahcon H has a high probability of failing. That may be smart PR. But they might eat up an additional $300 mil making it work. Rumor is it took 1000 million to make landing work, but how that accounting really added up vs money that was going to be spent on the flights was not gone into. It could also be that Space X sees the sheeple in finance starting to heard his way, and they want a corporate structure to take full advantage of prodding the herd and taking full control of the process of separating investment funds from their dollars.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    “Rumor is it took 1000 million to make landing work”

    Not really rumor, Musk said it in the post SES 10 press conference.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    A 15 year old company that wants to build the biggest rocket in the world and the largest satellite constellation ever is going to need funding beyond F9 launch business.

  • publiusr

    Good news.

  • ReSpaceAge

    A nice round number

    Just because Musk said that doesn’t mean it really wasn’t half that or a third that.

    Remember he said that as a reason to keep that price high on their flight proven rockets.

  • Hypx

    I’m curious about what SpaceX’s true finances are. They lost two rockets, lost a launchpad, and are spending massively on a bunch of different things (reuse of rockets, Falcon Heavy, ITS, internet satellites, etc.). They are also no mega-contracts from NASA coming anytime soon. So unless Falcon 9 is crazy profitable for them, something I think no one believes (and I’ll bet a lot of people think they’re launching them at a loss BTW), they look like they’re in pretty desperate need of funds.

  • Jacob Samorodin

    Well all those Tesla cars will be built and sold in the hundreds of millions of units & Mr Musk will have billions in revenue as a result…Ha ha ha ha.

  • Tom Billings

    Wow!

    What *I* see among the 9 previous comments is a degree of nipping at the heels criticism, that is really excuse-making for the old system of government-funded R&D as the major profit center of aerospace companies, that I had thought was long past here at parabolicarc. The idea that SpaceX *cannot* be profitable when making the rest of the industry look sick in launching commercial rocket payloads has washed up again.

    The idea, that somehow SpaceX just *cannot* be as good as their actions would indicate now seems to be growing. The idea, that getting $350 million for an immediate use capital bridge to keep their plans on schedule, is somehow cause for criticism, seems crazy to me. SpaceX knows that schedule *is* important. I find it no oddity that they have picked up immediate capital just after losing some contracts to scheduling problems, because those losses would get the attention of the company, and indicate that they need to stem such losses, by using new capital to keep their present commercial schedule.

    Instead all I see here is bitching that commenters here have no insight into the finance of a privately held company. It seems no one here wants to pay attention to the fact that SpaceX, if it were a public company, would be far more vulnerable to the attempts of the enemies of its dreams to kill those dreams. SpaceX should *stay* closely held as long as the LBJians in Congress and their corporate vassals are maneuvering to undo its goals. The most necessary of those goals being to wrench from the control of Congress the power to decide who, among US citizens, goes into Space, presently used as a demonstration of members’ own local power.

    That goal alone produces enemies, the like of which will not fall away any time in the next 10 years at least. Without that power, the LBJians in Congress are lessened men. Do *not* expect them to go quietly into the night. I doubt extremely that SpaceX leaders believe they will. In that circumstance, it is insane for SpaceX to exhibit to the public the information needed to undo their plans.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    Which is a valid reason. I would reserve judgement on that until we’ve seen Block 5. At least then you can judge total reuse program cost which is what he was referring to.

  • Jeff2Space

    Neither Musk nor Tesla has claimed they’ll sell “hundreds of millions of units”. Tesla “only” has about 400,000 pre-orders for Model 3.

  • Jeff2Space

    Reuse cost is important, but as long as it’s cheaper than building a new stage, that’s what counts. This is because reuse reduces pressure on their production and assembly lines. Reuse also allows for post flight inspections which can spot problems before they cause loss of a mission (expendables at the bottom of the ocean can’t do this). Ultimately, reused stages will become more reliable than expendable ones for this very reason.

  • Jacob Samorodin

    F–k! You have no sense of humor, friend… I’d like to see you on Skype.

  • Kenneth_Brown

    Not “pre-orders”, “fully refundable reservations” and the competition is at the door. Anybody wanting a model 3 today is going to have to wait at least 18 months. If Tesla can’t pay back the loans it received from SpaceX, both firms could be in for tough times.

  • Kenneth_Brown

    A statement that there is a high probability of failure is not something that Kennedy or the FAA want to hear which could cause a ton of problems and/or exacerbate the fallout if something does go wrong.

  • redneck

    Absolutely correct. They don’t want to hear it. Rather not fly at all than face the possibility of failure.

  • duheagle

    Falcon 9 is crazy profitable. If it wasn’t, SpaceX would have long since run out of money.

  • Steve Ksiazek

    Wow !
    What a rant.
    No one really has insights into SpaceX because they are private and aren’t so good at using GAAP either. Most Elon Musk companies are over-valued. I didn’t realize they had launch cancellations. That explains why they need more cash. They have been using launch deposits for future missions to fund current operations for a while. Obviously, they don’t have the cash flow necessary to withstand a cancellation or two. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be fund raising yet again.

  • Tom Billings

    More to the point, they are fundraising to *prevent* future cancellations as a result of future schedule interruptions. Companies *always* need more cash. SpaceX have running programs of heavy R&D investment, which the government doesn’t fund like they do for the cost+ contractor club. Those companies’ major profit center became R&D, rather than operations or production, under the tutelage of Congress over the last 70 years. Thus, they are not stretched by R&D, but supported. Of course, their technical progress is then ultimately under politicians’ control, which is the whole point to the system.

    As a result, SpaceX cash flow is less synchronized with their R&D expenditures than is the case with the cost+ contractor club. Your assumptions on where their operations money comes from are as good, and as poor, as anyone else outside the company. Companies raise funds for many reasons, and I think they are wise to hide from Congress what they are doing. Congress, from *both* parties, is hostile, in the majority of times it is interested at all. The more SpaceX and imitators succeed without them, the lesser their influence.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    No, not crazy profitable. They have investments cap reserves. Read Musk’s bio.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    No one said otherwise.

  • Vladislaw

    I wonder how SpaceX would do on an IPO .. would it compare to this:

    “Alibaba Group (BABA, -1.66%) has been the headline leading IPO of 2014. The Chinese e-commerce company initially priced its shares at $68 a piece to raise $21.8 billion. After a huge first-day reception, when shares opened 36.3% higher than their offering price, the banks released their overallotment option, making Alibaba’s final IPO total worth $25 billion. That makes it the world’s biggest offer ever, a title previously held by Agricultural Bank of China’s $24.3 billion IPO.”

    http://fortune.com/2014/10/22/these-are-the-7-biggest-u-s-ipos-ever/

  • Vladislaw

    Google and Fidelity were not venture capital firms. I believe it is the kind of stock and the voting rights attached to it would be more of the determiner of who SpaceX would let in as an investor.

  • Vladislaw

    Unfortunately SpaceX not only taught how to build a reusable they also taught them how to reduce the cost to build a disposable as well.

  • duheagle

    All companies have reserves. You don’t run a major company for 15 years solely on a total investment kitty of less than $2 billion. SpaceX’s biggest secret is hiding in plain sight – it’s very profitable on an operating basis. Detractors simply refuse to believe that SpaceX’s costs are anywhere near as low as they actually are. If one stubbornly refuses to accept the obvious truth, one will go haring off in all directions looking for secrets that aren’t there because they aren’t necessary.

    As for Musk’s bio, it wasn’t written by Musk; the author had no inside scoop. And Musk has long been a master of poor-mouthing. His recent remarks about FH’s alleged low probability of initial success is a non-financial example.

  • Mr Snarky Answer

    I believe they make money on each F9 launch (for the most part) and requires minimum flight rate of something like 8-10 missions a year just to break even on the OpeX. The bio was authorized by Musk and involved many interviews. He wrote a blog post in the areas he thought it was not accurate (this is not one of them). I am a SpaceX fan, no doubt, and believe they will be mostly profitable (when stuff doesn’t RUD) but I in no way would describe the operation as “crazy profitable”.