SpaceX, the futuristic technology company led by Elon Musk, has raised $100 million, according to a recent regulatory filing. This is in addition to the $350 million it had raised in July, Reuters reported. During the earlier funding round, the rocket-maker was valued at $21 billion. This year has been eventful for the California-based SpaceX, wherein it launched its first satellite (Falcon 9) for the US military, thus putting an end to a decade-long monopoly held by Lockheed Martin.
The regulatory filing, however, didn’t reveal the name of the latest financier. Musk, who founded SpaceX in 2002, has in the past stated that he has no intentions of taking the company public anytime soon. At present, it is funded by 25 investors. One of its marquee investors is Google that had led a $1 billion Series E funding back in 2015, when SpaceX was valued at $11 billion. The company has now attracted $1.6 billion in total funding and nearly doubled its valuation.
As funds continue to pour in, SpaceX is gearing up for a Mars mission in 2022, and another manned mission to the Red Planet in 2024. This year it has launched 16 missions, double that of last year. The next SpaceX mission is slate to launch in early December, when a Falcon 9 rocket will deliver a Dragon spacecraft resupply mission to the International Space Station, according to LA Biz. However, a few of its projects have suffered delays, and some have faced obstacles during qualification tests.
Despite that, SpaceX’s evolution into one of the world’s most valuable privately-held entities is noteworthy. It ranks alongside the darlings of the global startup economy viz. Uber, Airbnb, Snap, Xiaomi, Didi Chuxing and so on. Musk, who also owns automaker Tesla, is a leading tech billionaire with an estimated net worth of $20 billion, according to Forbes estimates. The 46-year-old Musk has an ambitious vision of landing man on Mars by 2025. NASA, on the other hand, thinks that is possible only in the 2030s.
But SpaceX wants to do it faster. “We’re establishing cargo flights to Mars that people can count on. The Earth-Mars orbital rendezvous is only every 26 months, so there’ll be one in 2018; there’ll be another one in 2020. And I think if things go according to plan, we should be able to launch people probably in 2024 with arrival in 2025,” Musk had said at the 2016 Code Conference. And he’s collecting the billions required for it!