Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of rocket company SpaceX, had to battle the likes of Boeing for government contracts. The contractors who had built rockets for the U.S. government said Musk could not invent rockets that would land themselves for reuse, let alone put people into orbit. SpaceX proved all those attacks were wrong. It has just launched four NASA astronauts into space. It then landed the rocket intact. Additionally, it was chosen to put the next Americans on the moon. These successes, and others, have made SpaceX one of the most valuable private companies in the world.
Musk created SpaceX in 2002. Among his early goals was to land people on Mars. He has not given up on that goal over the past two decades. Just as impressive as its work with NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense, SpaceX is in the midst of creating a global broadband system using low orbit satellites. The Federal Communications Commission has allowed over 1,000 of these to be launched, and the total count could rise as high as 4,400. This project is called Starlink, and it could disrupt the entire global broadband industry
SpaceX raised $1.61 billion in February, which pushed its valuation to $74 billion. That sum brought the total money it has raised to $6 billion.
SpaceX’s annual revenue in 2021 should be about $7 billion. Morgan Stanley believes the annual revenue eventually will reach $100 billion and that more than three-quarters of that will come from Starlink.
To put the SpaceX valuation into context, it is about the same as the market cap of Boeing last year, when much of its commercial aircraft business was wiped out by the global pandemic. Boeing’s revenue last year was $58 billion.
Is SpaceX worth $74 billion? Dozens of institutional investors who have put money into it clearly think so.