Spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX reached a $74bn valuation, a more than sixfold increase on the $12bn it fetched when Google led a $1bn round in 2015.

US-based spacecraft producer and launch services provider SpaceX, which counts internet technology group Alphabet as a backer, raised $850m in fresh funding. The round reportedly valued the company at $74bn and its shares sold for $419.99 in the transaction. Concurrently, unnamed existing backers sold $750m worth of shares in a secondary transaction. None of the investors or selling shareholders were identified. The $74bn valuation represents a more than sixfold increase on the $12bn it fetched when Google led a $1bn round in 2015.

Founded in 2002 and formally incorporated as Space Exploration Technologies, SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches spacecraft, providing services for US space agency Nasa as well as private customers. The company also operates Starlink, a planned constellation of thousands of satellites to deliver high-speed internet access globally. Starlink is expected to cost approximately $10bn to deploy and SpaceX plans to eventually spin off the business.

The company, founded and run by famous entrepreneur Elon Musk, is part of the broader space and satellite tech area, which has attracted the interest of corporate venture investors over the past three years, as the GCV Analytics bar chart below illustrates. The chart shows that corporate interest in this space was sporadic, at best, before 2018. In 2020, however, we reported corporate-backed 22 deals, worth an estimated total of $670m of capital deployed, despite the bankruptcy and subsequent asset sale we reported of one of the big hopefuls, OneWeb.