Just yesterday word hit the wire that Google may have been looking into funding SpaceX, the company owned and privately funded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Last week, Musk spoke out about his visions for a future project of SpaceX which would seek to bring satellite based internet to currently unconnected regions around the globe, which must have caught Google’s attention. That would be no small surprise considering Google already has a significant amount invested in their own initiatives to bring internet to people in the world via their Google X labs project called Project Loon, currently being pilot tested by stringing together wireless connections being output by balloons floating around the southern hemisphere.
As of today, SpaceX has announced their biggest round of funding ever, coming to about $1 Billion, and that Google and Fidelity are both a part of the investments which not only gives SpaceX a funding round that is four times the size of all the other funding rounds combined, but rewards Google and Fidelity with a small percentage of SpaceX onwership, reportedly just below 10% collectively. Google and Fidelity are joining current investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Valor Equity Partners.
Musk’s visions for a better connected world are vast and ambitious, and they’ll take some time to manifest as he predicts the time it will take to build the satellites for the project will take around five years minimum while costing at least $10 Billion. Google and SpaceX share a similar vision with goal of bringing low-cost internet to parts of the world that don’t have access, and Google’s Project Loon could even work in tandem with the satellite based internet project coming out of SpaceX one day allowing for a better connection for the areas that would end up being covered. With Google also having part ownership of the company(even if only a small part)it gives them a chance to be involved in the development of something they have an interest in seeing come to fruition. At this point in time there are not other details on whether or not there was any other terms to the investment besides the percentage of ownership.