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posted by Fnord666 on Friday July 28 2017, @08:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the now-that's-some-cheddar dept.

SpaceX is now one of the most valuable privately held companies in the world, joining the likes of Uber, Airbnb, Palantir, WeWork, and Xiaomi:

SpaceX, the rocket maker founded by billionaire Elon Musk, has raised up to $350 million in new financing and is now valued at around $21 billion, making it one of the most valuable privately held companies in the world.

[...] With the latest funding round, SpaceX joins an elite club of seven venture-backed companies valued at $20 billion or more around the world, according to research firm CB Insights. Investors have poured money into the companies, many of which operate capital intensive businesses such as Uber and Airbnb, even as smaller start-ups have gone public and have seen their valuations waver.

[...] SpaceX's latest funding nearly doubles the valuation of the company, which was pegged at around $11 billion when it raised $1 billion from Fidelity and Google in 2015. Previous investors in SpaceX include venture capital firms Founders Fund and DFJ.

Also at SpaceNews, Ars Technica, The Verge, and CNNMoney.

Original Submission

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SpaceX's Reusable Rockets Could End EU's Arianespace, and Other News 12 comments

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) believes that SpaceX will realize significant cost savings with reusable boosters (archive) without needing to launch them ten times each — as bitter SpaceX competitor United Launch Alliance asserts:

Gerd Gruppe, a member of DLR's executive board and responsible for DLR's space program, said the agency has concluded that SpaceX is on the verge of realizing the savings it has promised from reusing first stages. "With 20 launches a year the Falcon 9 uses around 200 engines, and while their cost of refurbishment is unknown, we think SpaceX is well on the way to establishing a competitive system based on the reusability" of the rocket's first stage, Gruppe said here Oct. 24 at the Space Tech Expo conference.

Not everyone is so sure. Leslie Kovacs, executive branch director at United Launch Alliance (ULA), said ULA has concluded that SpaceX needs to refly Falcon 9 first stages 10 times each to make reusability pay. "The question of reusability is not a technical problem. It boils down to an economic problem," Kovacs siad here Oct. 24. "Our internal analysis shows that if you are going to do that [reuse the first stage], the break-even point is about 10 times. You have to bring back that first stage 10 times for it to be economically beneficial for you."

Meanwhile, SpaceX has thrown the future of the European commercial launch provider Arianespace into doubt. Although Arianespace plans to launch its cheaper Ariane 6 rocket in 2020, it may not be able to compete with SpaceX's reusable rockets even with European subsidies (which Germany is reluctant to provide):

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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @09:30PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 28 2017, @09:30PM (#545987)

    Here is a pile of dog shit: 💩

    I value it at 23 billion dollars. Why? Because I did a bunch of cough syrup and said so. I'm preparing for out IPO, initial poop offering, any week now. Accepting buttcoin or whatever stupid cryptocurrency du jour is wasting electricity and GPU's these days.

  • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Saturday July 29 2017, @12:06AM (2 children)

    by vux984 (5045) on Saturday July 29 2017, @12:06AM (#546043)

    "many of which operate capital intensive businesses such as Uber and Airbnb"

    AirBnB and Uber are 'capital intensive' ? SpaceX is capital intensive, what with the investment in rockets, rocket production, rocket testing capabilities, and related facilities... but uber and airbnb? Those are apps.

    A kid in his basement could create a competitor to either.

    ok... yes... uber has its self driving car project and that requires some capital... but its not a core part of the business, and its mostly r&d at this stage; its likely still more labor intensive than capital intensive.) and airbnb?? I can't even guess how that is capital intensive; unless they've been buying up peoples couches to rent out on the side?

    • (Score: 2) by n1 on Saturday July 29 2017, @12:20AM

      by n1 (993) on Saturday July 29 2017, @12:20AM (#546053) Journal

      Capital intensive is how you explain that your 8 year old 'start-up' company loses money and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This helps to get a funding round, boost share prices or both. You can then talk about economies of scale and market disruption building the future to forecast profits beyond that.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29 2017, @01:58AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 29 2017, @01:58AM (#546101)

      Uber is capital intensive because they are throwing that capital away at drivers to subsidize the customers and 'outcompete' the competition. The very second they stop doing that, the drivers peel off the Uber stickers and go slap a competitors sticker on their car for whoever is next in line offering subsidies.