🚀 SpaceX feels a connection

Thursday, February 18, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

When you forget the Starlink WiFi code

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Hey Snackers,

Share-ing is caring: Michael B. Jordan gave his girlfriend Hermès shares for Valentine's Day. But Hermès Birkin bags are apparently an investment, too.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index dipped yesterday, dragged down by big shots like Apple and Netflix. Meanwhile, Bitcoin soared past $52K.

1. SpaceX reportedly hit a $74B valuation, but we're more interested in its Space WiFi

To infinity, and Elon!... Never gets old. Elon Musk's SpaceX has raised $850M in fresh funding at a ~$74B valuation, according to CNBC's "people familiar with the financing" (#PFWTF). The privately held rocket company was last valued at $46B in August. In May, SpaceX became the first private company to launch humans into orbit.

Starlight, Starlink... SpaceX's rockets get most of the love, but its Starlink satellites are pretty cool, too. Starlink: SpaceX's project to build a constellation of ~12K high-speed internet satellites in low Earth orbit. Elon said that Starlink will eventually spin off into a public company.

  • The status: Starlink has launched 1K+ satellites so far, and is rolling out a public beta in North America and the UK (it already has 10K+ users). It's also accepting $99 preorders.
  • The cost: SpaceX estimated that Starlink will cost ~$10B to build out — or 5X its estimated 2018 rocket launch revenue.
  • The benefit: SpaceX believes Starlink could bring in as much as $30B a year (way more than its existing rocket sales).

Starlink needs the Tesla playbook... to go mainstream. Starlink will reportedly cost $99/month... plus $499 upfront for the "Starlink Kit" (router included). When you compare that to the ~$55 average cost for high-speed internet, it seems way overpriced. But Tesla cars were inaccessible at the beginning, too ($109K for its first model in 2008 — now it's making a $25K model). Tesla's first strategy was entering at the high end of the market with a premium product, and then lowering costs as it scaled production (see: Elon's Master Plan). Starlink is impractical and expensive today, but it could go downmarket tomorrow.


Dire straits... Millions of Americans were left without electricity and heat as brutal winter storms continued to wreak havoc across the US. Texas was especially hard-hit, with ~2.7M homes losing power, some for the third straight day. In total, 3.4M US homes were still without electricity yesterday — and some also lost water. Businesses are getting frozen out, too:

  • Walmart closed more than 600 of its ~5K US stores in the South and the Midwest. CVS closed ~775 locations.
  • FedEx and UPS warned of possible nationwide delays, and USPS closed post offices and processing hubs in Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi.
  • GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and others, suspended production at car-making plants from Texas to Indiana.

No one was expecting this... Texas is used to hurricanes and tornadoes, but wasn't prepared for extreme temperatures. Neither was its power grid: Texas’ deregulated energy market doesn't incentivize operators to spend on preparing pipelines for a rare winter storm. Meanwhile, demand for heat-providing electricity and gas has soared, putting even more strain on the grid.


Emergency preparedness should be a full-fledged industry... Extreme weather has left Americans powerless multiple times in recent years. In 2017, there were hurricanes and floods on the Gulf Coast. In 2018 and 2020, there were wildfires on the West Coast. Extreme weather is becoming more frequent, so the emergency preparedness industry should bulk up. Companies like Honda, Generac, and EcoFlow, sell portable generators. And Tesla sells (way pricier) home solar powerwalls for when the grid goes down. But if companies can provide an affordable package with all the disaster staples (including alternate power), they would be doing everyone a favor.

What else we’re Snackin’
  • GameStop: Congress is hosting a hearing today to discuss last month’s market events. There will be testimony from four CEOs (including Robinhood’s), and a Redditor.
  • Emoji: Apple will introduce 217 new emojis in its next iOS update, including an AirPods headphone emoji (of course).
  • Shoppy: Shopify's sales nearly doubled last quarter from 2019, but the stock dropped because it expects slower growth in 2021.
  • Served: New York’s attorney general sued Amazon for inadequately protecting workers from Covid-19 at two of its facilities.
  • Meter: Google Maps will let you pay for public transportation and parking through its app (but you have to use Google Pay).
  • Hope: The World Health Organization reported a 16% decline in global Covid cases from last week.
Snacks Daily Podcast

Applebee's is launching a virtual chicken restaurant for delivery-only wings (aka: ghost chicken).

Tune in to hear why Cheetos-flavored wings and "Airbnb-ified" ghost kitchens could be the future of restaurants.


Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Google, Amazon, Apple, and Shopify

Disclosure: Robinhood Snacks is owned by Robinhood

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