SpaceX confirmed Jan. 20 that Google is taking a stake in the Hawthorne, California, firm, joining Fidelity in a $1 billion financing round.

Here’s the the short statement SpaceX just posted on its website:

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has raised a billion dollars in a financing round with two new investors, Google and Fidelity. They join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity will collectively own just under 10% of the company.

SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. This funding will be used to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing.

The news follows SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s Jan. 16 announcement that he’s opening a factory in Seattle to build some 4,000 satellites that will be deployed in low-Earth orbit to provide a global Internet service.  Musk hasn’t said what radio frequencies the system would use to deliver broadband, but he did say that he has filed the necessary paperwork with the International Telecommunication Union, the UN agency that regulates orbital slots and radio spectrum.

Word that Google was close to making an investment in SpaceX came Jan. 19 from, which reported that Google agreed to value SpaceX “north of $10 billion and that the size of the total round, which includes other investors, is very large.”


Brian Berger is editor in chief of and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...