First Read begins the morning with news that Google and Ford will reportedly team up [...]Continue
First Read kicks off this holiday week with news that Panasonic has acquired U.S. refrigeration [...]Continue
Corporate participation in venture-capital deal making kept its torrid pace in first quarter with almost [...]Continue
Money pouring into late stage deals helped lift venture investing to its largest first quarter [...]Continue
Corporate VCs put more money to work last year in the United States than they [...]Continue
In Second Opinion, Newsweek's Twitter account is hacked by a group claiming ISIS affiliation, JetBlue [...]Continue
In Second Opinion, SpaceX confirms its raising $1 bln in new funding, Mondelez International plans [...]Continue
SpaceX, a maker of rockets and spacecraft, has raised $1 billion in funding, the company confirmed in a post on its site. The investors were Google and Fidelity. As a result of their investment, Google and Fidelity will both own “just under 10 percent” of SpaceX. SpaceX is also backed by Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn.To read the announcement, visit here.Continue
In Second Opinion, a study finds that pizza is the major reason kids are fat, [...]Continue
In Second Opinion, Verizon's CEO says it's not considering acquiring AOL, smartphone data can be [...]Continue
In Second Opinion, Rackspace is no longer for sale, that NFC chip on the iPhone [...]Continue
Jurvetson, a managing director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and an investor in Elon Musk’s SpaceX, [...]Continue
Seven-year-old Founders Fund isn’t a typical venture firm. It thinks Monday meetings are for suckers. It recoils from the idea that it should help startups do their hiring. (That’s a core function of a startup, as far as the firm is concerned.) Meanwhile, its billionaire co-founder, Peter Thiel, whose ambition is funding startups with the […]Continue
It was nearly five years ago that Founders Fund — led by four entrepreneurs with deep ties to PayPal and Facebook — burst onto the venture scene, promising founders more autonomy than traditional VC firms and promising investors that it would transform its connections, including to former PayPal executives, into rich returns.
So far so good, apparently. Despite a sluggish fundraising environment, Founders Fund, which has already seen a handful of its portfolio companies acquired — CoTweet, Mint, Powerset, IronPort, and CyberTrust — announced last week that it had closed a $250 million “oversubscribed” third fund, its biggest to date.
In a wide-ranging discussion earlier today, managing directors Ken Howery and Luke Nosek talked about that new fund, along with some of the firm’s highest-profile investments; notable companies they haven’t backed; and the nerdy — and potentially lucrative — areas that interest the firm today.Continue
On Wednesday, I was on a call with Elon Musk, CEO of both Tesla Motors and space exploration company SpaceX. The latter company was announcing what it’s hailing as the “largest single commercial launch deal ever” — a $492 million contract to carry into space the mobile telecommunications satellites of Iridium Communications, beginning in 2015. Though […]Continue
If you’ve been reading over the past day, you know that I yesterday wrote a piece wondering if the reportedly stretched finances of entrepreneur Elon Musk are of interest not only to Tesla Motors, the pre-IPO electric car company where he is CEO, but also of the space exploration company SpaceX, which Musk founded and where he is both CEO and CTO. (Musk, who made his fortune as a PayPal cofounder, has since invested all of his liquid assets in both companies.)
My interest was piqued after reading a WSJ piece reporting that SpaceX “needs a cash infusion of more than $1 billion in the next year or two to reach its goal of transporting astronauts to the international space station later this decade.” The story went on to suggest that, given the Obama administration’s plans to turn space travel over to private companies, “U.S. taxpayers are the most likely source of future assistance.”
SpaceX board member (and fellow PayPal cofounder) Luke Nosek, told me today that Musk’s personal financial picture is irrelevant. The reason, he said, is that SpaceX is expected to be profitable this year, as it has been for the past several years, owing to some very rich contracts. One is with Loral Space & Communications. A much bigger contract, valued at $1.6 billion, is with NASA, which is counting on SpaceX, as well as one of its competitor, Orbital Sciences, to transport cargo to the International Space Station once it retires its last shuttle in November.
Tonight, Musk writes in with some more data points that are worth publishing.Continue
Last night, I wrote about SpaceX after a Wall Street Journal article stated that the company “needs a cash infusion of more than $1 billion in the next year or two to reach its goal of transporting astronauts to the international space station later this decade. That’s twice the total investment by SpaceX since its […]Continue
Earlier today, the Wall Street Journal published a compelling story about SpaceX, the space exploration company that hyperentrepreneur Elon Musk is running concurrently with Tesla Motors and that successfully launched a rocket — called the Falcon 9 — into a 155-mile orbit last Friday.
The piece provides a detailed overview of SpaceX’s past woes as evidence that privatizing space travel is a risky proposition, but it doesn’t ask a key question: whether SpaceX can continue competing for the U.S. government’s business in light of Musk’s stretched personal finances.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Musk confirmed to VentureBeat that he has been living off the fast-dwindling personal loans of friends. The admission came after Musk revealed — in a February court filing relating to his divorce from science fiction novelist Justine Musk — that he ran out of his own money last November.Continue