Starlink project takes Musk’s SpaceX valuation to $100 billion

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SHANGHAI, Jan. 7, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in Shanghai, east China, Jan. 7, 2019. U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Inc. on Monday broke ground on its Shanghai factory, becoming the first to benefit from a new policy allowing foreign carmakers to set up wholly-owned subsidiaries in China. The new plant, Tesla's first outside the United States, is located in Lingang Area, a high-end manufacturing park in the southeast harbor of Shanghai. It is designed with an annual capacity of 500,000 electric cars. Tesla signed the agreement with the Shanghai municipal government in July 2018 to build the factory. In October, the company was approved to use an 864,885-square-meter tract of land in Lingang for its Shanghai plant. (Xinhua/Ding Ting/IANS)

Driven by its ambitious Starlink project, Elon Musk-run SpaceX has received a &100 billion valuation by US-based investment bank Morgan Stanley — from $52 billion just three months ago.

The bank’s “bull case” which is the absolute best-case scenario — puts the rocket company at a value above $200 billion, report Forbes.

The bank has raised the estimated value of Starlink to $81 billion.

While SpaceX’s launch business is valued at $12 billion, its point-to-point space travel is valued at $9 billion, describing Musk’s space business as “mission control” for the “emerging space economy.”

A Morgan Stanley research note said that “the pieces are coming together for SpaceX to create an economic and technology flywheel”.

“Investors just valued SpaceX in August, when the company raised $1.9 billion in funding — at a valuation of $46 billion” then.

Last week, SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites aboard Falcon 9 rocket to be deployed in low-Earth orbit, bringing the constellation to 788 as the company gears up for a public beta of the affordable satellite broadband service.

SpaceX recently presented the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Starlink internet performance tests, showing it was capable of download speeds of between 102Mbps to 103Mbps, upload speeds of 40.5Mbps to not quite 42Mbps, and a latency of 18 milliseconds to 19 milliseconds.

“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in the northern US and hopefully southern Canada,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet earlier this month.

“Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval,” he added.

It is expected that there will be gigabit speeds on offer, meaning up to 1Gbps Internet speeds, with a fairly low latency of up to 25ms.

Starlink plans to offer these Internet services for around $80 per month, which is priced at par if not lower than similar speed broadband plans in most countries, including India.

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