Investor interest in SpaceX appears immune to Musk’s meddling


Illustration of rocket blasting off with dollar bills in its wake
Image Credits: Yutthana Gaetgeaw (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter sent Tesla’s stock price on a roller coaster this year as its value correlated — largely negatively — with each development at the social media company. But SpaceX’s support from investors seems immune to the drama.

Back in April, when Musk first announced his intention to acquire Twitter, it was just weeks after Tesla stock hit its 2022 price peak, $381.82 on April 4, according to Yahoo Finance data. Since then, it has declined fairly consistently — other than the few bursts when it looked like the Twitter transaction might not go through after all or that Musk was stepping down as Twitter CEO — and opened today at $139.34 a share, a 63.5% haircut from this year’s high.

The chatter around Tesla stock has been getting louder lately, too, as Wall Street analysts wrote down the investment amid predictions that Musk will sell more Tesla shares to keep Twitter afloat, making them less confident it is a good buy.

While all this drama continues to unfold, SpaceX, one of Musk’s other companies, not only seems shielded from the Twitter noise but largely undeterred.

Data from fintech Caplight, which tracks secondary transactions of private company shares, found that SpaceX is having a great year in terms of private investor interest and secondary sales. The company was last valued — just this week — at about $140 billion, per Caplight’s analysis, which is up 15.4% from its value when Musk announced his offer to buy Twitter and up 12% from the space company’s latest publicly disclosed valuation in July, $125 billion.

While the startup’s valuation did fluctuate a little bit with the impending news cycle — it wasn’t a straight shot up and to the right all year — it wasn’t all that much, and it has largely continued to grow its value. This is pretty interesting for a few reasons.

One, it reminds us of the narrative that is often overshadowed in recent news coverage and public drama: Silicon Valley embraces Musk for the most part.

While, sure, VCs including David Sacks and Jason Calacanis post positive views of him very publicly on the very platform that’s causing all the drama, many investors and founders are quieter about their support. Anecdotally, you come across industry insiders who admire him much more often than public forums would suggest. It’s also worth noting that venture fund Sequoia put money into the Twitter acquisition and Andreessen Horowitz raised its hand to help out.

Many still think Musk is a visionary, and if investors are willing to put faith into his acquisition of an unprofitable company that he admitted to overpaying for, their continued support of SpaceX starts to make more sense.

The other thing that is notable about SpaceX’s growth this year is that it seems largely immune from the overall negative 2022 startup ecosystem, which has forced the valuations of many companies to plummet, resulting in layoffs — and those companies aren’t even involved with this kind of public drama!

This could be because, despite market conditions, it seems like SpaceX is continuing this year largely business as usual. Recent highlights include modifying its contract with NASA to be more involved with its current exploration of the moon, as well as a handful of recent successful rocket launches.

Regardless, a company’s valuation boils down to where investors are willing to value it, and private investors are sending a clear message: No matter what Musk does or what happens to Tesla, they are too bullish on SpaceX to care.

More TechCrunch

The spam reached Bluesky by first crossing over two other decentralized networks: Mastodon and Nostr.

The ‘vote Trump’ spam that hit Bluesky in May came from decentralized rival Nostr

Welcome to TechCrunch Fintech! This week, we’re looking at the continued fallout from Synapse’s bankruptcy, how Layer wants to disrupt SMB accounting, and much more! To get a roundup of…

There’s a real appetite for a fintech alternative to QuickBooks

The company is hoping to produce electricity at $13 per megawatt hour, which would be more than 50% cheaper than traditional onshore wind.

Bill Gates-backed wind startup AirLoom is raising $12M, filings reveal

Generative AI makes stuff up. It can be biased. Sometimes it spits out toxic text. So can it be “safe”? Rick Caccia, the CEO of WitnessAI, believes it can. “Securing…

WitnessAI is building guardrails for generative AI models

It’s not often that you hear about a seed round above $10 million. H, a startup based in Paris and previously known as Holistic AI, has announced a $220 million…

French AI startup H raises $220M seed round

Hey there, Series A to B startups with $35 million or less in funding — we’ve got an exciting opportunity that’s tailor-made for your growth journey! If you’re looking to…

Boost your startup’s growth with a ScaleUp package at TC Disrupt 2024

TikTok is pulling out all the stops to prevent its impending ban in the United States. Aside from initiating legal challenges against the government, that means shaping up its public…

As a U.S. ban looms, TikTok announces a $1M program for socially driven creators

Microsoft wants to put its Copilot everywhere. It’s only a matter of time before Microsoft renames its annual Build developer conference to Microsoft Copilot. Hopefully, some of those upcoming events…

Microsoft’s Power Automate no-code platform adds AI flows

Build is Microsoft’s largest developer conference and of course, it’s all about AI this year. So it’s no surprise that GitHub’s Copilot, GitHub’s “AI pair programming tool,” is taking center…

GitHub Copilot gets extensions

Microsoft wants to make its brand of generative AI more useful for teams — specifically teams across corporations and large enterprise organizations. This morning at its annual Build dev conference,…

Microsoft intros a Copilot for teams

Microsoft’s big focus at this year’s Build conference is generative AI. And to that end, the tech giant announced a series of updates to its platforms for building generative AI-powered…

Microsoft upgrades its AI app-building platforms

The U.K.’s data protection watchdog has closed an almost year-long investigation of Snap’s AI chatbot, My AI — saying it’s satisfied the social media firm has addressed concerns about risks…

UK data protection watchdog ends privacy probe of Snap’s GenAI chatbot, but warns industry

U.S. cell carrier Patriot Mobile experienced a data breach that included subscribers’ personal information, including full names, email addresses, home ZIP codes and account PINs, TechCrunch has learned. Patriot Mobile,…

Conservative cell carrier Patriot Mobile hit by data breach

It’s been three years since Spotify acquired live audio startup Betty Labs, and yet the music streaming service isn’t leveraging the technology to its fullest potential — at least not…

Spotify’s ‘Listening Party’ feature falls short of expectations

Alchemist Accelerator has a new pile of AI-forward companies demoing their wares today, if you care to watch, and the program itself is making some international moves into Tokyo and…

Alchemist’s latest batch puts AI to work as accelerator expands to Tokyo, Doha

“Late Pledge” allows campaign creators to continue collecting money even after the campaign has closed.

Kickstarter now lets you pledge after a campaign closes

Stack AI’s co-founders, Antoni Rosinol and Bernardo Aceituno, were PhD students at MIT wrapping up their degrees in 2022 just as large language models were becoming more mainstream. ChatGPT would…

Stack AI wants to make it easier to build AI-fueled workflows

Pinecone, the vector database startup founded by Edo Liberty, the former head of Amazon’s AI Labs, has long been at the forefront of helping businesses augment large language models (LLMs)…

Pinecone launches its serverless vector database out of preview

Young geothermal energy wells can be like budding prodigies, each brimming with potential to outshine their peers. But like people, most decline with age. In California, for example, the amount…

Special mud helps XGS Energy get more power out of geothermal wells

Featured Article

Sonos finally made some headphones

The market play is clear from the outset: The $449 headphones are firmly targeted at an audience that would otherwise be purchasing the Bose QC Ultra or Apple AirPods Max.

5 hours ago
Sonos finally made some headphones

Adobe says the feature is up to the task, regardless of how complex of a background the object is set against.

Adobe brings Firefly AI-powered Generative Remove to Lightroom

All cars suffer when the mercury drops, but electric vehicles suffer more than most as heaters draw more power and batteries charge more slowly as the liquid electrolyte inside thickens.…

Porsche Ventures invests in battery startup South 8 to boost cold-weather EV performance

Scale AI has raised a $1 billion Series F round from a slew of big-name institutional and corporate investors including Amazon and Meta.

Data-labeling startup Scale AI raises $1B as valuation doubles to $13.8B

The new coalition, Tech Against Scams, will work together to find ways to fight back against the tools used by scammers and to better educate the public against financial scams.

Meta, Match, Coinbase and others team up to fight online fraud and crypto scams

It’s a wrap: European Union lawmakers have given the final approval to set up the bloc’s flagship, risk-based regulations for artificial intelligence.

EU Council gives final nod to set up risk-based regulations for AI

London-based fintech Vitesse has closed a $93 million Series C round of funding led by investment giant KKR.

Vitesse, a payments and treasury management platform for insurers, raises $93M to fuel US expansion

Zen Educate, an online marketplace that connects schools with teachers, has raised $37 million in a Series B round of funding. The raise comes amid a growing teacher shortage crisis…

Zen Educate raises $37M and acquires Aquinas Education as it tries to address the teacher shortage

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €285M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road