SpaceX, Musk’s private space exploration company, has reached a valuation of about $21.2 billion after raising some $351 million in a recent round of funding, according to trading platform for private companies, Equidate.
Not only does that make SpaceX one of the top 10, if not top 5, most valuable unicorns in the world, it also makes the company more valuable than a recent graduate of unicorn crowd: Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc.
Valued as high as $28.4 billion after its much-hyped IPO this past March, the camera company has since fallen to a valuation of $16.5 billion as its biggest backers start to worry about weak user growth and competition from Facebook’s Instagram Stories amid a deluge of public information—including Snap’s quarterly earnings that missed expectations.
While SpaceX likely surpassed Snap’s valuation in June, it does highlight one of the many reasons more companies are staying private for longer. Snap is now estimated to be worth even less than its private valuation of about $17.8 billion, according to Equidate.
However, as Snap slides from its lofty valuation, SpaceX is gradually rising on Musk’s sky-high goal to put humans on Mars. Despite being younger and smaller than many of its competitors in the private sector, SpaceX has managed to gain several important contracts. That includes two Air Force contracts and others with NASA to taxi astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
SpaceX has also sold itself as a cheaper option than its competitors, reusing rocket components to lower its launch costs among other things.
Based on estimates from CBInsights, SpaceX would be the fifth most valuable unicorn, just behind Airbnb.
Still, it’s difficult to gauge the exact valuation of private companies. So based on other data from Equidate, SpaceX would fall behind Palantir, valued at $21.3 billion by Equidate.