SpaceX has been described as the most popular pre-IPO tech company in the world. If you have been thinking about investing in the stock, you aren't alone. From individuals like you to private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds, many investors are interested in SpaceX stock. How do you invest in SpaceX stock?
What is SpaceX?
Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, is an American space travel company run by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Started in 2002 and based in Hawthorne, Calif., SpaceX is on a mission to cut space travel costs in order to facilitate the colonization of Mars. It’s a dream so close to Musk’s heart that SpaceX is careful to only accept funding from investors with a long-term view.
The company is focused on developing and launching advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX boasts several historic milestones like being the only private company able to return a spacecraft from Earth’s low orbit. Also, SpaceX’s Dragon became the world’s first commercial spacecraft to transport cargo to the International Space Station and back.
SpaceX aims to be the first private company to transport humans into space. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is working on a similar program through his company Blue Origin, which makes Bezos and Musk bitter rivals.
How to invest in SpaceX stock
If you open the Robinhood or Webull app and search for SpaceX stock or SpaceX stock price, the search won't find anything. You can’t buy the stock through your regular broker because SpaceX is currently a private company.
Buying shares in private companies isn’t as straightforward as investing in publicly traded companies. While you can start investing in publicly traded stocks with as little as $1.0 thanks to commission-free online brokers like Robinhood, SoFi Invest, and Cash App Investing, it’s a different story when it comes to private companies.
You have to be an accredited investor to be able to participate in the private investing market. You can forget about investing in SpaceX stock directly if your fortune is less than $1.0 million or you don’t earn more than $200,000 annually. Also, you need to be sophisticated, which means you have professional knowledge and experience, to qualify as an accredited investor.
An individual wanting to invest in SpaceX has limited options if they aren't an accredited investor. For ordinary investors, the viable route to getting exposure to SpaceX as an investment is through a fund or publicly traded company that owns SpaceX shares. Financial services provider Fidelity Investments and Google parent Alphabet are the two notable entities that have invested in SpaceX.
My hope is *all* current investors remain with Tesla even if we’re private. Would create special purpose fund enabling anyone to stay with Tesla. Already do this with Fidelity’s SpaceX investment.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Investing in SpaceX stock through Fidelity
Fidelity has made several investment rounds in SpaceX. Fidelity’s earliest reported investment in SpaceX came in 2015 when it joined with Alphabet to inject about $1.0 billion in the business. The investment gave Fidelity and Alphabet a combined stake of about 10 percent in SpaceX stock. Fidelity also participated in a 2020 SpaceX investment round that raised about $2.0 billion for the space venture.
Fidelity runs a portfolio of funds that invest in public and private stocks. Therefore, investors shopping for SpaceX stock can gain exposure to the space company indirectly through Fidelity mutual funds. You can buy mutual funds through investment apps that offer them alongside other securities. When investing in mutual funds, you should be aware of the costs as the expense ratio usually applies to fund investments. Some funds charge a load fee when you buy or sell their shares.
Does Alphabet own SpaceX stock?
Alphabet owned an estimated 7.5 percent of SpaceX stock following its joint investment with Fidelity in the space company in 2015. It’s unclear whether subsequent funding rounds have diluted Alphabet’s SpaceX holding. SpaceX’s valuation has soared from $10 billion at the time of Alphabet’s investment to $46 billion after the 2020 funding round, which means that Alphabet’s holding has appreciated. Investors can gain exposure to SpaceX directly through Alphabet stock.
Besides Fidelity and Alphabet, other SpaceX investors include Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Valor Equity Partners, and Baillie Gifford. Thiel and Fidelity also invested in Facebook while it was still a private company.
Finally, platforms like Forge Global and EquityZen enable investors to purchase pre-IPO stocks from insiders like employees who receive a stock award as part of their compensation. These platforms may be an option for investors shopping for SpaceX stock. Right now, Musk seems reluctant to take SpaceX public.