It looks like Elon Musk is having a great week. SpaceX’s starship projects appear to be progressing nicely, and the Tesla CEO is dreaming of Mars more fervently than ever. Unfortunately for Musk, his greatest rival and the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, just sold a record amount of Amazon stock ($2.8 billion) which he can now plunge into his space travel company, Blue Origin.
It is no secret that the Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are great rivals. Twitter spats and accusations of plagiarism have dogged the relationship, as the space exploration companies of these two billionaires go toe to toe. Between SpaceX and Blue Origin, the former is the best known but it might no longer be the best capitalized.
The Amazon CEO has made it clear that he plans to keep selling $1 billion every year to fund his space projects. The recent sale of $2.8 billion was a new record even for Bezos, who lost control of roughly $37 billion of AMZN shares in his divorce with ex-wife MacKenzie.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is no slouch when it comes to attracting capital, as the company announced more than $1 billion in fundraising this year to continue development. While Musk still captures millennial attention like no other entrepreneur, it is going to be tough for him to hold off Bezos and Blue Origin.
Elon Musk is a very wealthy man. The problem is that Jeff Bezos is five times richer. In a scenario where the availability of capital was to dry up for SpaceX, the Amazon boss could keep funding Blue Origin himself without the need to go cap in hand to others. While Musk commands the lion’s share of public interest thanks to his charisma and Twitter following, Bezos’ space ambitions are also progressing nicely. This latest influx of cash promises to supercharge those plans.
Amazon stock might have taken a big hit lately during the trade war, but it’s unlikely the CEO is too concerned. Still one of the world’s most valuable companies, Bezos’ delivery behemoth practically owns the U.S. retail market. By comparison, a large chunk of Elon Musk’s wealth comes from Tesla, which is in a far more precarious situation financially.
Elon Musk certainly has the edge in brand awareness and hiring power, but Jeff Bezos now has a record amount of liquid capital. The race to Mars has never been tighter.
Last modified: June 23, 2020 2:38 PM UTC