Larry Page, CoFounder of Google was recently quoted saying, "I would rather give my Billions to Elon Musk than charity." Page's reasoning was that Musk's aspiration to send humans to Mars “to back up humanity” was a worthy goal. “That’s a company(SpaceX), and that’s philanthropical,” he said.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), which designs, manufactures, and launches one of the world's most advanced rockets and spacecrafts, confirmed on their website that they had raised a billion dollars in a financing round with two new investors, Google and Fidelity. They now join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity will collectively own just under 10% of the company, which brings SpaceX's valuation to over $10 billion.
This round of funding came a few days after Elon Musk, visited Seattle to kick off a new project aimed at putting up to 4,000 satellites into low Earth orbit to provide low-cost Internet access.
Facebook is also trying to provide low cost internet services through it's initiative internt.org and the high-flying drone it acquired, while Google has Project Loon and Titan Aerospace. Google’s 'Project Loon' is striving to increase the availability of Internet connectivity, using a network of high flying balloons to network hard-to-reach areas. Though the projects share a lot in common, Musk’s plan has a couple of differences,: SpaceX’s design calls for satellites flying higher and faster than Google’s balloons, but the aims of casting off the limits of terrestrial networks still apply.
This funding will be used to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing confirmed SpaceX.
While Google's portfolio of investments is diverse, Google already has a presence in the aerospace sector following its acquisition of Skybox Imaging, a satellite company, last year in June for $500m. This investment in SpaceX is also aligned with Google’s plans to make Internet connectivity more accessible on a global scale.
During his appearance in Seattle, Elon Musk had estimated that the satellite system could start providing data services by 2020, and that the entire constellation could be in place by 2030. The total cost of the venture could amount to $10 billion or more, he estimated.
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