Elon Musk's SpaceX poised to become most valuable US start-up

Billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX could be valued at over $173 billion, surpassing fintech giant Stripe. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX is poised to become the most valuable US start-up as its valuation rose to over US$125 billion (S$173 billion) in an ongoing share sale in the secondary market, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The shares, which are marketed at about US$72, jumped in valuation from last October, when SpaceX's shares were sold at US$56 apiece after a 10-1 split and valued the rocket company at US$100 billion.

No new shares have been issued in the secondary offering, but the company indicated to investors that it may do so later this year, said one of the sources.

The share sale could value SpaceX at over US$125 billion, surpassing fintech giant Stripe, which was valued at US$115 billion in a secondary sale.

It could not be learnt how many shares have been made available for sale by the company. It is common for highly valued private companies to offer shares in the secondary market to introduce liquidity for early investors and employees.

Reuters could not determine if chief executive Elon Musk, who owns 44 per cent of SpaceX and signed a US$44 billion deal to acquire Twitter, are among the sellers. Mr Musk is also the chief executive of Tesla.

In the capital-intensive business, SpaceX has raised US$337.4 million in December and US$1.16 billion in equity financing last April, according to regulatory filings.

The company competes with former Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos' space venture Blue Origin and billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic in the burgeoning constellation of commercial rocket ventures.

SpaceX has already launched numerous cargo payloads and astronauts to the International Space Station for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, including 19 rocket launches this year alone.

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