Following earlier reports that Google was finalizing a $1 billion investment in Elon Musk's zany new space internet project, SpaceX has confirmed a new round of funding worth—you guessed it—$1 billion. The new investors include not only Google but also Fidelity, Founders Fund and others. The new investors now own slightly less than 10 percent of SpaceX's new venture.
It looks like Google is going to throw a ten-figure sum into Elon Musk's space internet dream. Both The Information and The Wall Street Journal report that the search giant is finalizing a $1 billion investment in SpaceX's recently revealed effort to offer global internet service through small satellites. It's a crazy idea that just might work.
Musk recently revealed some details about his as yet unnamed space internet project to Bloomberg. A team of about 5o employees at the new SpaceX office in Seattle are working on a project that would use about 700 small satellites to provide internet access to the entire planet, with a strong focus on rural and developing areas. SpaceX declined to comment on the plans and the Google investment in an email to Gizmodo.
It's a popular and ambitious effort in which other billionaires like Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg are also investing sizable sums. (Branson likes the satellite idea, while Zuck is taking a drone-focused approach.) Google itself has been thinking about building a balloon-borne space internet for years, though most people think that the so-called Project Loon is a bit loony—or just a UFOs.
Sooooo… Who will be the first billionaire to build a space internet?! A better question: Who would've believed ten years ago we'd be asking that question in 2015? Not this guy. [WSJ, The Information via Gizmodo ES]
Image via SpaceX