In two rounds of funding, SpaceX has raised more than $1 billion in new capital so far this year. This will certainly help the company to get closer—if not all the way—to deploying its Starlink broadband constellation
According to regulatory filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, which were published on Friday of last week, the launch-provider-turned-satellite-operator raised $486.2 million in the first round alone. Its second round of investment went even better, pulling in $535.7 million, as described in the May 24thfiling. This indicates that SpaceX managed to sell all but $18.8 million of available shares to bring the total capitalization up to $1.022 billion.
This is all very important, of course, because SpaceX is currently building two projects that will definitely require a lot of capital. First of all, SpaceX is working on a fully reusable Super Heavy rocket booster with Starship upper stage. Second, SpaceX is developing the Starlink broadband megaconstellation that networks about 12,000 satellites.
Back in 2017, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that their plan was to fund Starship and Super Heavy—which, at the time, was called the Big Falcon Rocket—that was originally involved replacing what has been SpaceX’s standard Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets with a brand new launch system. Last week in a call with reporters, though, Musk said he believes the company will also be able to use Starlink revenue to fund this new launch system.
At the same time, Musk has not updated any figures for what he expects Starlink to generate but he did intimate that launch revenue and the capital raised could provide them with enough financial resources to invest in this much bigger project.
Speaking about Starlink, Musk said, “At this point it looks like we have sufficient capital to get to an operational level.” He goes on to say that he will probably need about 800 satellites to accommodate a “significant operational capability.” To reach economic viability, he says that this fleet will be more like 1,000.
Furthermore, Musk asserts that he does not need the full 12,000 satellites for this project to be successful. Instead, he posits that SpaceX could scale the constellation up to this number, depending on demand.