Still, investors have long believed that a handful of companies have the potential to become globally dominant businesses. Five companies based in the United States that are valued at more than $20 billion â including Uber, Airbnb and WeWork â have upended established industries like transportation and real estate. Palantir, the analytics company that is in the $20 billion-plus valuation club, is vying to become a major government contractor, as is SpaceX.
The two other closely held companies valued at more than $20 billion are in China â ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and consumer electronics maker Xiaomi.
SpaceXâs latest funding nearly doubles the valuation of the company, which was pegged at around $11 billion when it raised $1 billion from Fidelity and Google in 2015. Previous investors in SpaceX include venture capital firms Founders Fund and DFJ.
SpaceX is best known for Mr. Muskâs goal of colonizing Mars, but it is also a key player in the business of sending commercial satellites into space.
In September, the company suffered a major setback when one of its Falcon 9 rockets caught fire on the launchpad and exploded, destroying a $200 million satellite. SpaceX resumed launching in January, and, after years of failing to meet its promises, the company has finally achieved a steady cadence, with 10 launches already this year. By the end of the year, SpaceX hopes to finally get its bigger, years-delayed Falcon Heavy rocket off the ground.
In March, the company launched a partly used, less expensive rocket, with the aim of bringing down the cost of sending supplies into space. Replicating such…