A long exposure photo shows the path of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket as it launched the ispace mission on Dec. 11, 2022, with the rocket booster’s return and landing visible as well.
Elon Musk’s re-usable rocket maker and satellite internet company, SpaceX, is raising $750 million in a new round of funding that values the company at $137 billion, according to correspondence obtained by CNBC.
Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that SpaceX was allowing insiders to sell at $77 per share, which would have put the company’s valuation near $140 billion. The company raised more than $2 billion in 2022, including a $250 million round in July, and was valued at $127 billion during an equity round in May, CNBC previously reported.
According to an e-mail sent to prospective SpaceX investors, Andreessen Horowitz (also known as a16z) will likely lead the new funding round. Early SpaceX investors included Founders Fund, Sequoia, Gigafund and many others.
A16z also participated in Elon Musk’s leveraged buyout of Twitter, a $44 billion deal that closed in late October 2022.
SpaceX and a16z did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last year, SpaceX achieved several new milestones but faced delays to its Starship program, which is part of NASA’s effort to bring astronauts back to the moon.
On the upside, the company’s satellite internet service, Starlink, exceeded 1 million subscribers and provided a lifeline to users in Ukraine who suffered infrastructure disruptions after Russia’s invasion. SpaceX also managed to surpass 60 reusable rocket launches in a single year via its Falcon program.
The company is currently continuing development of its Starship and Super Heavy launch vehicles at the company’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. It’s not clear when the company will move to the next step of the program, which entails an orbital launch test of these larger vehicles.
As Musk has repeatedly sounded off about geopolitical issues on Twitter, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson recently asked SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell whether his “distraction” as the new owner and CEO of Twitter might affect SpaceX’s work with the space agency, NBC News reported. Nelson said that Shotwell reassured him it would not.
NASA is now considering whether SpaceX can help rescue residents on the International Space Station, including an astronaut and two cosmonauts with Russia’s Roscomos, according to CNET. Russia’s Soyuz capsule sprung a coolant leak in December, and an investigation is underway to determine if the spacecraft can safely return the crew home or if emergency measures will need to be taken instead.
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