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EMAILED ON November 8, 2018 BY Conor Grant

By raising $750m in debt, Musk boldly steers SpaceX toward the financial frontier

SpaceX announced yesterday that it is looking for a partner to give it $750m of another type of rocket fuel: cold, hard cash.

After discussing a $500m loan with Goldman Sachs months ago, SpaceX has upped the ante and put a new bank in the cockpit: Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

One small loan for Musk, one giant valuation for SpaceX 

SpaceX raised $500m at a valuation of nearly $27B earlier this year, proving venture capitalists in private markets are willing to invest in the moonshot company’s interstellar ambitions.

The company has raised more than $1.9B from VCs and varied investors, and SpaceX’s finances are looking better than ever (its market share of commercial space launches rose from 45% to 65% this year).

So the question is: Why would SpaceX take out expensive debt when it doesn’t need to?

Elon Musk hates haters

Recently, Musk’s erratic tweets have caused short-sellers to send stock in his companies tanking, causing headaches in the short term. 

So while the company still doesn’t need to take on debt, it’s taking out bank loans because they are more private than normal funding — and harder to short.

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