"Back in 2016, Gwynne Shotwell gave her prediction for the landing success rate. Since then, they've completely blown away their own expectations," Korus said.
SpaceX undercuts rivals in pricing and performance, helping the company gain marketshare. For example, a new Falcon 9 starts at $62 million versus ULA's Atlas 5, which starts at $109 million. For $150 million, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy doubles the performance of ULA's Delta IV Heavy, which goes for about $350 million, according to ULA chief executive Tory Bruno.
Korus compared SpaceX to Uber as a company creating demand for itself by lowering the cost of access.
"When [Uber] lowered the cost, then more people started taking rides," Korus said.
Christensen agreed and said that a launch cadence of every other week for SpaceX would mean the company is "taking away launches from other providers."
"A high launch cadence means they're dominating competitors rather than there's a large amount of new demand," Christensen said.
Thanks to the steady success of its launches, as well as a backlog of more than 100 future mission contracts worth over $12 billion, SpaceX nearly tripled its valuation since it was featured in last year's top 50 Disruptors. After its most recent fundraise brought in about $500 million, SpaceX's valuation rose to about $27.5 billion, according to analysis group Equidate, making it one of the most valuable private companies in the world.
Venture capitalist Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, a partner in Global Space Ventures , invested twice in SpaceX, first in 2012 and again "in early 2014," she said. According to Equidate, SpaceX shares were $34.68 from December 2012 to the company's next raise in January 2015. Priced at $169 per share today, de Cayeux's investment has already likely grown about 387 percent – but she's invested for the long haul. Musk told de Cayeux that she would "not see a return for 15 years," which did not deter her.
"When I first invested in SpaceX in 2012, their share of awarded global commercial launch market share was zero. But from 2013 to 2018, in five years, it went from less than 10 percent to over 60 percent," de Cayuex said. "That's pretty damn fast!"
On a quarter to quarter basis, SpaceX appears to have more runway and support from investors due to the company's continued success. Even so, Taylor described SpaceX's ability to raise funds as "unusual" due to its place as a manufacturing company.
"In the private markets, if you look at which companies investors like SoftBank have written $100 million checks to, its services or analytics companies," Taylor said.
SpaceX could become a $50 billion juggernaut through the launch of its satellite broadband business, according to Morgan Stanley in October. The most recent round of funds will be used to develop the SpaceX satellite constellation. SpaceX launched the first two test satellites for the network into orbit in February. Known as Starlink — a name SpaceX filed to trademark last year — the constellation is an ambition unmatched by any current satellite network.