Elon Musk’s space exploration company, SpaceX, could soon be considering an initial public offering (IPO) either in 2025 or as late as 2026, according to Vijay Marolia, Chief Investment Officer of Regal Point Capital. Regal Point Capital holds SpaceX shares through the Baron’s Focused Growth Fund BFGFX.
SpaceX has gained momentum in the industry by pioneering reusable rocket technology, which has significantly reduced costs and transformed the space sector. The company has successfully maintained an impressive launch rate and is poised to play a crucial role in future missions to the moon and Mars. As speculation surrounding an IPO grows, investors are keeping a close eye on SpaceX.
However, Marolia believes that SpaceX will likely postpone any IPO decisions until after the upcoming election. He suggests that "2025 is the bet" for an IPO decision, stating that clarity on the country’s leadership for the next four years is necessary before such a step can be taken.
Recent talk has also centered around the possibility of spinning off Starlink, SpaceX's satellite-internet constellation. Nonetheless, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has reportedly dismissed the idea of a Starlink spinoff occurring this year.
Marolia suggests that if a spinoff were to happen, it would likely be after an IPO. He explains, "If there’s a Starlink spinoff, it may be post-IPO. If I was going to IPO Starlink from SpaceX, I would do that when we’re closer to the Mars mission."
In 2027, Musk envisions an uncrewed spacecraft landing on Mars as part of SpaceX's long-term plans. While Marolia acknowledges the potential vulnerability of SpaceX's secured satellite network for governments, known as Starshield, to geopolitical and regulatory risks, he remains cautious about predicting its future prospects. "Your guess is as good as mine at this point," he concludes. "It’s so early; it’s too early to tell."
SpaceX Aims for $150 Billion Valuation
SpaceX, the aerospace manufacturer and space transportation company founded by Elon Musk, has set its sights on a lofty goal. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the company is targeting a staggering $150 billion valuation through the sale of new shares.
Starlink: Taking Cell Service to New Heights
SpaceX has wasted no time in making waves in 2024. The company recently launched its first set of Starlink direct-to-cell satellites into orbit, marking a significant milestone. This launch involved 21 Starlink satellites being deployed atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base. Notably, six of these satellites are specifically designed to offer direct-to-cell services, ensuring seamless connectivity for LTE phones worldwide. In essence, SpaceX describes these direct-to-cell satellites as "cellphone towers in space," effectively eliminating dead zones and delivering enhanced coverage.
2023 ended on a high note for SpaceX, with the successful deployment of 23 Starlink satellites via a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. This launch represented the 96th Falcon mission of the year for SpaceX.
Not only is SpaceX reshaping the telecommunications landscape, but the company is also making significant strides in reusable rocket technology. On December 23rd, SpaceX achieved a remarkable milestone. The company launched 23 Starlink satellites into low Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral and astoundingly, the rocket's first-stage booster successfully landed on a droneship floating in the Atlantic Ocean. This historic landing marked SpaceX's 19th successful launch and landing of a booster - a feat never before accomplished.
A Year Packed with Potential
SpaceX shows no signs of slowing down in 2024. With ambitious plans to launch an astounding 12 missions per month, the company is poised to make this year even more remarkable than the last.
Despite the company's ongoing success, recent events have placed SpaceX's operations under scrutiny. The National Labor Relations Board has lodged a complaint against SpaceX, alleging that the company unjustly terminated eight employees who were involved in drafting and circulating an open letter addressing workplace concerns.
As of now, SpaceX has not responded to requests for comment.
Related Reading: Space stocks surge as SpaceX concludes eventful period with successful Starlink satellite launch (November 2023)