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Investor interest in SpaceX appears immune to Musk’s meddling

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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.

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