Several weeks ago, the WSJ reported that SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, was set to raise $500 million from earlier shareholders and the Scottish money management firm Baillie Gifford & Co. in a bid to help get its internet-service business off the ground.
The Hawthorne, Ca. company still hasn’t announced the round, but it nevertheless made things official today, filing more details about the fundraise with the SEC. Though the filing doesn’t confirm Baillie Gifford’s involvement, it does show that the company has secured at least $273.2 million toward a planned $500 million round from 8 investors.
It also, notably, lists the involvement longtime investor Steve Jurvetson, who has been on the board of both SpaceX and Musk’s car company, Tesla Motors, for 10 and 13 years, respectively. Why it’s worth mentioning: After Jurvetson left DFJ, the venture capital firm he co-founded, amid questions about his personal conduct in the fall of 2017, questions arose around whether he would keep those director positions. Indeed, at the time, a Tesla spokesperson told the outlet Recode that Steve Jurvetson “is on a leave of absence from the SpaceX and Tesla boards pending resolution of these allegations.”
DFJ’s investigation into those allegations led the firm to later apologize for an event hosted at the Half Moon Bay home of Jurvetson, which reportedly featured sex and drug use. Musk, however, who attended the event, suggested that it was far more sedate, telling WIRED at the time, “If there are ‘sex parties’ in Silicon Valley, I haven’t seen or heard of one . . If you want wild parties, you’re in the wrong place. Obviously. That DFJ party was boring and corporate, with zero sex or nudity anywhere.”
Either way, Jurvetson wasted little time in forming a new venture firm, Future Ventures, which has been up and running for 11 months and looks to fund startups in commercial space exploration, deep learning, quantum computing, robotics, AI, blockchain, sustainable transportation, synthetic biology and clean meat.
Now we know that he remains very involved in SpaceX, too.
It’s not so surprising, given that Musk and Jurvetson have enjoyed a long relationship. In fact, because SpaceX remains privately held and Musk holds super-voting shares, he has extra power in corporate decison-making, as Recode noted in a more recent report.
Meanwhile, publicly traded Tesla has also stuck by Jurvetson. Despite changes to the board’s composition that were brought about as part of its settlement with the SEC — late last year, it added new board members Larry Ellison and Kathleen Thompson-Wilson, and Robyn Denholm replaced Musk as chairman — Jurvetson remains a director.
Assuming SpaceX closes its newest round of funding, it will have raised $2.5 billion in equity funding altogether, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
Other outside directors listed on the new filing include Luke Nosek of Founders Fund; Donald Harrison, a longtime Googler who is currently the company’s president of global partnerships and corporate development; and Antonio Gracias of Valor Equity Partners, who, like Jurvetson, also sits on the board of Tesla.