UPDATE: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has issued a response. As per the CEO, reports alleging that Saudi and UAE investors are planning on investing in SpaceX are “not true.”
Recent reports have emerged suggesting that a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s investment fund and an Abu Dhabi investment firm are planning to participate in a multibillion-dollar funding round for SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private space company. The information was reportedly shared by people familiar with the matter.
Following the reported funding round, the valuation of Elon Musk’s private space venture would likely stand at about $140 billion. This would effectively make SpaceX one of the largest privately-owned companies in the world by valuation.
Citing two individuals reportedly familiar with the matter, The Information noted that Saudi Arabia’s Water and Electricity Holding Company, Badeel, and the United Arab Emirates’ Alpha Dhabi are participating in the funding round. Morgan Stanley is reportedly organizing the investment effort.
The Saudi fund’s reported investment in SpaceX is of particular interest due to a previous apparent conflict between Elon Musk and the head of the Public Investment Fund during Tesla’s “funding secured” fiasco. Text messages between Elon Musk and Saudi PIF Head Yasir Al-Rumayyan showed that the Tesla CEO was displeased with how the fund was handling its media statements at the time.
SpaceX, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Alpha Dhabi, have not issued responses as of writing.
SpaceX has experienced a number of key milestones as of late, and the rest of the year promises to be equally eventful. Elon Musk noted last month that the private space company’s largest and most ambitious rocket to date, Starship, would hold its orbital launch attempt soon. Starship has the potential to change spaceflight due to its reusability.
SpaceX’s tried and tested workhorse, the Falcon 9, also aced its 100th consecutive landing in late February. This meant that SpaceX’s landing reliability had reached a level comparable to the launch reliability of some of the most dependable rockets ever launched in the industry. The lack of competition among other space companies also highlights the lead that SpaceX has in the launch business.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet business is also growing, with the service hitting over 1 million active subscribers worldwide in late December. Starlink has been expanded to other countries since then, so the number of subscribers today is likely significantly higher.
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