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

Thursday, February 18, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

When you forget the Starlink WiFi code

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.