Space travel company Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, has raised $15 million of a new funding round, according to VentureWire. The round may eventually grow to $60 million. VentureWire first spotted the news in a regulatory filing and has confirmed the news with Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the firm leading the round.
It sounds like the company’s fortunes continue to improve. Founded in 2002 by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, who serves as CEO for both the Hawthorne, Calif., company and electric car maker Tesla, SpaceX really started proving itself last year when it finally launched a rocket into space after three failed attempts.
Now, DFJ managing director Steve Jurvetson says aerospace companies and public agencies are hiring SpaceX to deliver satellites into orbit — for example, it’s scheduled to launch a Malaysian satellite in July. SpaceX’s press materials also say it plans to deliver cargo back-and-forth from Low Earth orbit (such as resupplying the International Space Station) starting next year.
Musk initially invested $100 million of his own money into the company. SpaceX also raised $20 million from the Founders Fund (a firm run by PayPal co-founders) last year.
SocalTech reported on the funding back in April, but DFJ only recently confirmed the news. I’ve emailed SpaceX (which didn’t comment for the VentureWire story), and will update if I hear back.