Back in February, SpaceX finally completed a successful launch of its Falcon Heavy - the most powerful operational rocket on Earth - after a handful of embarrassing stumbles that saw rockets explode and mysterious satellites destroyed.
And it appears SpaceX's first real brush with success is already having a positive impact on its valuation. To wit, Recode reports that the company has disclosed a new valuation of $24 billion as it locks in its new $500 million Series I round of financing. The company is selling equity at $169 a share - which works out to a total valuation of $23.7 billion. That's compared with a valuation of $21 billion in November, according to Pitchbook data.
Several of its largest backers include DFJ, Founders Fund, Google and Fidelity. The company and its investors are also reportedly planning to buy out existing investors for another $500 million.
Those secondary sales are key, Recode said, because it’s unclear if SpaceX ever intends to go public and give its early backers an exit strategy.
Space travel, as one might imagine, is an incredibly cash intensive business. The company is pursuing several lofty goals - like city-to-city rocket travel, which its president said earlier this week could be possible "within a decade."
SpaceX, at the new valuation, would be the third-highest-valued private company in the United States. Only Uber and Airbnb are worth more.