Welcome to this week’s Private Markets Express, a digest of small pieces of private equity knowledge gathered for your reading pleasure.
Last week there was news of SpaceX attempting two Falcon 9 launches within 48 hours. Over the weekend the company successfully launched both Falcon 9 rockets and recovered both first stages of each rocket, making history again.
The first launch was on Friday for client Bulgaria Sat from the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. TechCrunch reports that the rocket used for the mission was previously used for SpaceX’s first Iridium launch, which took place in January. SpaceX once again recovered the first stage aboard its Atlantic Ocean drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You.”
The second launch was on Sunday for client Iridium. Taking off from SpaceX’s Vandenberg Air Force base in California, the rocket was carrying 10 satellites destined to become part of Iridium’s NEXT constellation. The Falcon 9 second stage successfully deployed all 10 of the satellites to their target orbits. SpaceX also managed to land the Falcon 9 first stage on its drone ship “Just Read The Instructions”, despite tricky conditions due to extreme weather.
If you are interested in watching the Iridium-2 Mission webcast it is available on SpaceX’s website.
Furthermore, a CNBC article believes that SpaceX is Elon Musk’s more attractive company, as compared to Tesla. While many people still think it’s part of Elon’s dream to colonize Mars, SpaceX is truly making waves in the space industry by building technology that will allow for reusable rockets. SpaceX has already demonstrated their ability to reuse the Falcon 9 rocket by landing it on their drone ships. The CNBC article suggests that with $5 billion a year in revenues and applying a Facebook-like 15x price-to-sales multiple, SpaceX has a potential $75 billion market cap, bigger than Tesla today.
With a significant head start on other competitors in the industry, SpaceX could easily become the jewel of the Elon Musk empire.
The high growth ride-sharing giant Lyft continues to post impressive numbers. According to a KTAR news article, Lyft just reported a 300% increase in the number of rides taken in Phoenix over the past year. Drena Kusari, Lyft’s general manager for the Southwest region commented on this:
“Phoenix has seen some really explosive growth. This is a really incredible trajectory that we’re seeing and we expect that growth rate will continue to accelerate.”
Lyft also opened a Phoenix drivers’ hub that features a quiet place for drivers to relax and get a free cold drink between rides. They can also participate in driver education and professional development.
Last year Dropbox announced that it was leaving Amazon Web Services (AWS), and bringing most of the operation in-house. Many people began to speculate that something big was brewing. Recently Dropbox announced a massive global network growth plan, designed to increase syncing speed for users and cut costs for the company. The enormous network expansion is beginning across 14 cities, in 7 countries, on 3 continents. According to TechCrunch Dropbox plans to have 25 facilities in 10 countries, across 4 continents by the end of 2017. It is estimated that this project will cut networking costs in half, which will add up to significant savings for the company.
Dropbox has been named as a top contender for an upcoming IPO in 2017 and this expansion is making some noise. This expansion should appeal to potential investors as customers will benefit from faster service and the company reduces costs.
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