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SpaceX raising $500 million, pushing valuation to $30.5 billion: Report

Key Points
  • SpaceX is reportedly planning to use the new cash to build its massive satellite internet project, called Starlink.
  • The Wall Street Journal says the capital comes from existing shareholders as well as new investor Baillie Gifford, a Scottish investment firm.
Gwynne Shotwell president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, left, speaks as NASA astronaut Bob Behnken looks on.
Patrick Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SpaceX is raising a $500 million round of fundraising, according to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

The new funding puts SpaceX's valuation at $30.5 billion, according to the report, which cites people familiar with the fundraising. The report says the capital comes from existing shareholders as well as new investor Baillie Gifford, a Scottish investment firm.

Founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX is reportedly planning to use the new cash to build its massive satellite internet project, called Starlink.

SpaceX and Baillie Gifford declined to comment.

Starlink – a name SpaceX filed to trademark last year – is an ambition unmatched by any current satellite network. The company is attempting to build its own constellation of 4,425 broadband satellites, with another 7,518 satellites to come after. SpaceX will begin launching the constellation in 2019. The system will be operational once at least 800 satellites are deployed.

Starlink would offer broadband speeds comparable to fiber optic networks.The satellites would provide direct-to-consumer wireless connections, rather the present system's redistribution of signals, transforming a traditionally high-cost, low reliability service.

The FCC approved a SpaceX application for the service earlier this year. That was the first time the FCC has authorized a U.S.-licensed satellite constellation to provide broadband services through low-Earth orbit satellites.

If the Starlink network is successful, Morgan Stanley estimates SpaceX's valuation will soar to $50 billion or more. Starlink would be a cash cow, Morgan Stanley says, as the satellite business would have much better margins than the company's rocket launching business.

SpaceX was named the No. 1 company on the 2018 CNBC Disruptor 50 list, announced in May. At the time, SpaceX told CNBC its valuation was about $28 billion.

Read the full WSJ story here.