The Elon Musk-owned SpaceX is reportedly raising a $500 million round of funding at a $30.5 billion valuation.
Funds to be Used in SpaceX’s Starlink Program
According to the Wall Street Journal report, the round of funding will go toward the company’s ambitious new Starlink program. The program intends to put 11,000 low-orbital satellites in operation in order to blanket the planet with high-speed internet connectivity.
The Advantages of Low-Orbital Satellites
While low-orbit satellites tend to fall into the earth’s atmosphere and burn up sooner than standard communication or geosynchronous satellites, the lower orbit does offer several advantages. First, at only 550 kilometers above the earth’s surface, servicing the satellites is much more possible. Also, at lower-orbit the satellites tends to create a stronger signal, as well as faster signal due to the the distance the signal needs to travel being reduced by nearly half.
SpaceX Has Investors Intrigued
This is not the only large round of funding closed by SpaceX recently. Just last month, the company raised a reported $250 million through the sale of a high-yield loan. In order to close the most recent round, SpaceX is reportedly courting one of its largest investors in the Tesla brand, Scottish firm, Baillie Gifford & Co. If the round of funding is successful, SpaceX will have raised over $2.5 billion of equity funding to date.
A History of Ambitious Goals
Starlink is just the latest in the SpaceX’s ambitious undertakings. Last year, company owner Elon Musk made headlines when he announced his intentions for a rocket-powered terrestrial travel system capable of allowing flights to take passengers from New York to Shanghai in just 39 minutes. The announcement was only the latest in a serious of ambitious statements by the company founder, including his very public assertion the company will someday soon be able to colonize Mars.
Founded in 2002, SpaceX has been the crown-jewel of the Elon Musk commercial empire. Along with the company, Musk has also launched the Tesla company, as well as co-founding digital pay system, PayPal. As of October of 2018, Musk’s personal worth was estimated to sits at $22.8 billion.