SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk, has raised about $300 million from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.
This is the third new fundraiser in 2019, but this time the investor is the innovation platform of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which manages a total of $191.1 billion in assets.
This is the inaugural investment of the Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP), the platform dedicated to investments in technological innovation of the Ontario Teachers’ Invest, launched in April 2019.
Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, SpaceX revolutionised the space launch market with over 75 successful launches, becoming the world’s leading private launch provider, and the first to successfully reuse an orbital rocket.
The investment is dedicated to the development of new projects, including Starlink, a new generation satellite network capable of connecting the world with reliable and affordable broadband Internet services.
The Starlink network will consist of 11,943 satellites that fly close to the planet in what is called the Low Earth Orbit, so as to create an interconnected network called the constellation. In this way, the satellites would create a network that could connect to the high-speed Internet anywhere on Earth.
The first mission with 60 satellites was completed in May, and Musk himself stated that the company would now have sufficient capital to bring this project to an operational level.
SpaceX has been identified as an attractive investment opportunity for TIP for its proven track record in innovating space launch technology, and for its significant growth potential in the satellite broadband market.
TIP’s Senior Managing Director, Olivia Steedman, said:
“SpaceX is the world’s leading private space launch provider, and we are excited to work with the company in the next phase of its growth as it rolls out its Starlink satellite network. […] Our investment in SpaceX fits well within the TIP investment strategy of capitalizing on significant global opportunities in new businesses and sectors that are emerging as a result of unprecedented technological change”.
The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan is Canada’s largest single-purpose pension fund, with assets under management of $191.1 billion as of December 31st, 2018. It has a diversified global portfolio of assets, of which approximately 80% is managed internally, with an annual net return of 9.7%. The fund invests and manages the pensions of 327,000 active or retired teachers in the province of Ontario.
Thanks to this new fundraising, the share capital of SpaceX would reach a total of 1.33 billion dollars. Before this last round, the company’s overall valuation had risen to $33.3 billion, according to some CNBC sources.
Musk recently estimated that SpaceX’s revenues from launches are likely to reach $3 billion a year, but said that he believes internet service revenues are potentially closer to $30 billion a year.