LONDON — Launch-service provider SpaceX’s most recent Series H round of funding raised $351 million and valued the company at $21.2 billion — a 76% increase from the previous Series G funding in January 2015, which totaled $1 billion and valued SpaceX at $12 billion.
SpaceX stock is privately traded and its transactions were published by Equidate, an online service that allows shareholders to asses the value of privately traded companies.
Whether the current valuation is stable is anyone’s guess. The Series H funding in July set a SpaceX share at $135.00, which may or may not be the price that buyers would get if they elected to sell. And while investors in SpaceX’s private stock may be more sophisticated about the rocket business than the average stock-market investor, there is no telling how they would react to a launch failure.
In addition to selling launch services to commercial and government customers, SpaceX is also under contract to NASA to provide manned and unmanned vehicles to service the International Space Station, and has as its founder Elon Musk’s vision a permanent manned presence on Mars. The company is designing a constellation of broadband connectivity satellites but has made no major capital commitment to the project as yet.
SpaceX is not the only company to benefit from investors’ belief that the rocket industry is in the middle of a sea change that will make launch services more affordable, more frequent and — presumably — more profitable than they have been so far. Rocket Labs of New Zealand recently completed a funding round that valued the company, which has yet to make a first successful flight to orbit, at $1 billion.
That is double the latest valuation made for Europe’s Arianespace launch consortium, which is owned by Ariane Group and has a nearly 40-year track record of launches: